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Weight Loss Study Summary
Weekly e-mail weight loss counseling helped adults at risk for type 2 diabetes lose more weight in a year than similar adults who followed an Internet weight loss program without e-counseling, researchers report.

Weight Loss Study Aim
To test whether e-mail counseling might be a viable alternative, researchers compared the effects of e-counseling among 92 overweight or obese adults with one or more other risk factors for type-2 diabetes, like a family history of the disease.

Weight Loss Study Method
Half of the group participated in an Internet weight loss program in which they were asked to reduce their calorie intake and increase their exercise. Their Internet guidance included an online tutorial on weight loss, weekly tips and links to weight loss resources and e-mail reminders to submit their weight to the researchers each week. The other half of the group participated in the same program but also corresponded via e-mail with assigned weight loss counselors during the program, who provided weekly feedback, recommendations and support.

Weight Loss Study Results
Individuals who received e-counseling lost 4.8 percent of their original body weight after participating in the Internet program, almost double the weight loss experienced by individuals who were not counseled. E-counseled individuals also had smaller waistlines at the end of the weight loss program, but there were no significant differences in blood sugar levels between the two groups and no data on whether the weight loss in either group reduced the number of diabetes cases.

Weight Loss Study Conclusion
The weight loss observed in the behavioral e-counseling group at 12 months is encouraging because weight losses of similar magnitude are known to reduce risk for diabetes. The researchers say that it is still uncertain whether e-counseling weight loss would have the same benefit for many adults at risk for type 2 diabetes, including minorities and low-income individuals, since most participants in the study were white, college-educated and required to have computer access.

Source: Press Release. Health Behavior News Service

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