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Testing the short‐term effectiveness of primary care referral to online weight loss programmes: A randomised controlled trial

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posted on 15.10.2021, 09:11 by Michaela Noreik, Claire MadiganClaire Madigan, Nerys M Astbury, Rhiannon M Edwards, Ushma Galal, Jill Mollison, Fitsum Ghebretinsea, Susan A Jebb
Guidelines ask health professionals to offer brief advice to encourage weight loss for people living with obesity. We tested whether referral to one of three online programmes could lead to successful weight loss. A total of 528 participants aged ≥18 years with a body mass index of ≥30 kg/m2 were invited via a letter from their GP. Participants were randomised to one of three online weight loss programmes (NHS Weight Loss Plan, Rosemary Online or Slimming World Online) or to a control group receiving no intervention. Participants self-reported weight at baseline and 8 weeks. The primary outcome was weight change in each of the active intervention groups compared with control. We also compared the proportion of participants losing ≥5% or ≥10% of body weight. For Rosemary, Online mean weight loss was modestly greater than control (-1.5 kg [95% confidence interval (CI) -2.3 to -0.6]) and more than three times as many participants in this group lost ≥5% (relative risk [RR] = 3.64, 95% CI: 1.63–8.1). For Slimming World, mean weight loss was not significantly different from control (?0.8 kg [95%CI ?1.7 to 0.1]), twice as many participants lost ≥5% (RR = 2.70, 1.17–6.23). There was no significant difference in weight loss for participants using the NHS Weight Loss Plan (-0.4 kg, [95% CI -1.3 to 0.5]), or the proportion losing ≥5% (RR = 2.09, 0.87–5.01). Only one of three online weight loss programmes was superior to no intervention and the effect size modest among participants living with obesity.

Funding

NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre

History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Clinical Obesity

Volume

11

Issue

6

Publisher

Wiley

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The authors

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Wiley under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Acceptance date

30/06/2021

Publication date

2021-10-06

Copyright date

2021

ISSN

1758-8103

eISSN

1758-8111

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Claire Madigan. Deposit date: 14 October 2021

Article number

e12482