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Telemed J E Health. 2011 Nov;17(9):696-9. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2011.0032. Epub 2011 Sep 1.

The accuracy of weight reported in a web-based obesity treatment program.

Author information

1
Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont 05405, USA. jharvey@uvm.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The overall goal of the study was to understand the accuracy of self-reported weight over a 6-month Web-based obesity program.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

As part of a larger study, subjects (n=323; 93% female; 28% African American) were randomized to a 6-month Internet-based behavioral weight loss program with weekly group meetings delivered either: (1) entirely by online synchronous chats or (2) by a combination of online chats plus monthly in-person group sessions. Observed weights were obtained at 0 and 6 months for all participants. Self-reported weights were submitted weekly to the study Web site. Differences in Observed and Reported weights were examined by gender, race, and condition.

RESULTS:

Observed and Reported weight were significantly correlated at 0 and 6 months (r=0.996 and 0.996, ps <0.001 respectively). However, Reported weight underestimated Observed weight by 0.86 kg (p<0.001) at 6 months. Further, there was a significant weight loss effect (p<0.001) with those losing more weight more accurately estimating their Reported weight at 6 months. Additionally, 6-month Reported weight change differed from Observed weight change (difference=0.72 kg, p<0.001), with weight change using Reported weights estimating a slightly larger weight loss than Observed weights.

CONCLUSIONS:

In general, the accuracy of self-reported weight is high for individuals participating in an Internet-based weight loss treatment program. Accuracy differed slightly by amount of weight lost and was not improved with periodic in-person assessment. Importantly, weight change by self-report was comparable to observed, suggesting that it is suitable for Web-based obesity treatment.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00265954.

PMID:
21882997
PMCID:
PMC3241925
DOI:
10.1089/tmj.2011.0032
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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