A randomized clinical trial of the effectiveness of a Web-based health behaviour change support system and group lifestyle counselling on body weight loss in overweight and obese subjects: 2-year outcomes.
Weight loss can prevent and treat obesity-related diseases. However, lost weight is usually regained, returning to the initial or even higher levels in the long term. New counselling methods for maintaining lifestyle changes are urgently needed.
An information and communication technology-based health behaviour change support system (HBCSS) that utilizes persuasive design and methods of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) was developed with the aim of helping individuals to maintain body weight. The purpose of this study was to assess whether CBT-based group counselling combined with HBCSS or HBCSS alone helps to maintain improved lifestyle changes needed for weight loss compared to self-help guidance or usual care.
A randomized lifestyle intervention for overweight or obese persons (BMI 27-35 kg m-2 and age 20-60 years), recruited from the population registry in the city of Oulu, Finland, was conducted. This study comprised six randomly assigned study arms: CBT-based group counselling (eight sessions led by a nutritionist), self-help guidance-based group counselling (SHG; two sessions led by a nurse) and control, each with or without HCBSS, for 52 weeks. Subjects visited the study centre for anthropometric measurements, blood sample collection and to complete questionnaires at baseline, 12 and 24 months. The main outcome was weight change from baseline to 12 months and from baseline to 24 months.
Of the 1065 volunteers screened for the study, 532 subjects (51% men) met the inclusion criteria and were enrolled. The retention rate was 80% at 12 months and 70% at 24 months. CBT-based counselling with HBCSS produced the largest weight reduction without any significant weight gain during follow-up. The mean weight change in this arm was 4.1% [95% confidence interval (CI), -5.4 to -2.8, P