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Transl Behav Med. 2015 Mar;5(1):37-44. doi: 10.1007/s13142-014-0296-6.

Virtual small groups for weight management: an innovative delivery mechanism for evidence-based lifestyle interventions among obese men.

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Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA USA.


While group interventions for weight management have been shown to be efficacious, adherence is often low, especially among men. This pilot study seeks to test whether group interventions using web-based group video conferencing (VC) technology is effective for weight loss. We adapted a 12-week curriculum based on the Diabetes Prevention Program, and delivered this intervention to a small group of men (BMI ≥30 kg/m(2)), using web-based group VC. Participants were randomized to intervention (n = 32) or delayed-intervention control group (n = 32). The intervention group lost 3.5 % (95 % CI 2.1 %, 4.9 %) of their initial body weight. Difference in mean weight loss was 3.2 kg (p = 0.0002) and mean BMI decrease was 1.0 kg/m(2) (p = 0.0010) between the two groups. Virtual small groups may be an effective means of allowing face-to-face group interaction, while overcoming some barriers to access.


Lifestyle intervention; Obesity; Prevention; Telehealth; Weight management

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