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Weight Loss Internet Study Summary
According to a recent weight loss study, overweight adults using an Internet weight-loss program that included e-mail counseling lost an average of 10 pounds body weight in one year. The average weight loss achieved in this study is likely to reduce the adults risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Weight Loss Internet Study Subjects
Led by Brown University Medical School, this is the longest Internet weight-loss study to date. It started in September 2001 and included 92 adults. Average age was 42, all about 40 pounds overweight with two or more risk factors for Type 2 diabetes.

Weight Loss Internet Study Method
Participants were randomly divided into two groups. The first group used a basic Internet weight-loss program that provided a tutorial on weight loss, a new tip and link each week, and a directory of Internet weight-loss resources. Each week, they received an e-mail reminder to submit their weight. The second group had the same program and also received e-mail counseling with weight-loss therapists. The subjects in this group were told to report calorie and fat intake, exercise energy expenditure, and could direct questions or comments to the therapist.

Weight Loss Internet Study Results
The study found the people in the e-mail counseling group lost more than twice as much weight as those just using the basic Internet weight-loss program. At the end of a year, the people in the e-mail counseling group lost an average of 10 pounds while those in the basic program lost an average of 4 pounds. The people in the e-mail counseling group also had greater increases in their exercise levels in the first three months of the study and a larger reduction in their consumption of fat calories over the course of the study. In both groups, people who spent more time at the weight-loss Web site lost more weight.

Weight Loss Internet Study Conclusion
Internet behavioral weight loss programs may offer an alternative to clinic weight loss programs. The study demonstrated Internet interventions could be used for longer periods of time, a necessary model for treatment of chronic diseases.

Source: HealthDayNews 2003

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