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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2017 Jun;25(6):1014-1021. doi: 10.1002/oby.21846. Epub 2017 Apr 24.

Weight loss in Weight Watchers Online with and without an activity tracking device compared to control: A randomized trial.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, The Miriam Hospital Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.
2
Department of Nutrition, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA.
3
Weight Watchers International, Inc., New York City, New York, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate a commercial online weight loss program and activity tracker, which are popular but have unknown efficacy.

METHODS:

Two hundred seventy-nine participants with BMI 27 to 40 kg/m2 were randomized to 12 months of the Weight Watchers Online program alone (WWO) or with the ActiveLink® activity tracking device (WWO+AL) or an online newsletter (Control).

RESULTS:

Weight losses at 3 months were significantly greater in WWO (2.7 kg [95% confidence interval (CI), 2.0-3.5 kg] than Control (1.3 kg [95% CI, 0.5-2.0 kg]; P = 0.01); neither differed from WWO+AL (2.0 kg [95% CI, 1.3-2.7 kg]; Ps > 0.56). Significantly more WWO participants (24.5%) achieved ≥ 5% weight loss at 3 months than Control (9.4%) (P = 0.01); neither differed from WWO+AL (17.6%) (Ps = 0.13-0.28). At 12 months, there were no significant differences between groups in weight loss (Ps > 0.52). WWO (25.5%) continued to have a higher proportion of participants achieving ≥ 5% weight loss than Control (12.9%) (P = 0.04); neither differed from WWO+AL (14.3%) (Ps > 0.10). There were no significant between-group differences in change in physical activity (Ps > 0.17).

CONCLUSIONS:

WWO produced significantly more weight loss at 3 months relative to Control, but not at 12 months. Significantly more WWO than Control participants lost ≥ 5% at both 3 and 12 months. Participants receiving an activity tracking device did not achieve greater weight loss or physical activity increases than those in a Control condition.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01888172.

PMID:
28437597
DOI:
10.1002/oby.21846
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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