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J Telemed Telecare. 2006;12(7):370-3.

A pilot study of videoconferencing for an Internet-based weight loss programme for obese adults in Taiwan.

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  • 1Community Medicine Research Center and Institute of Public Health, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan.


We conducted a pilot study of the feasibility of an Internet-based weight loss programme using videoconferencing to emulate face-to-face situations and a Web service to support self-monitoring. A pre-post test design was used to compare changes in bodyweight, metabolic variables and attendance rate. Nine subjects lost on average 5.9 kg (6.0% of body weight, P<0.001) over the course of the 12-week programme. Waist circumference was reduced significantly (10.2 cm, P=0.03). Total cholesterol, aspartate transferase (AST) and alanine transferase (ALT) significantly decreased. Eight participants completed a questionnaire after the intervention. Overall, responders were satisfied with the protocol and considered the Internet weight loss programme to be helpful to them. One technical problem was that Internet congestion could reduce the quality of audio and video. The Internet appears to hold promise as a medium to facilitate communication in weight loss programmes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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