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PITTSBURGH, Pa., April 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — A new study published in Obesity, the official journal of the Obesity Society, shows that the combination of wearable body monitors and behavior support increased weight loss over behavior support alone by keeping consumers engaged in the program. The study used the BodyMedia® Armband, which captures data on the wearer’s calorie burn, physical activity, steps taken and sleep efficiency, and companion software that allows users to input their body parameters, set their personal goals and track their activity and calorie intake.
The study, The Comparison of a Technology-Based System and an In-Person Behavioral Weight Loss Intervention, was independently conducted at the University of Pittsburgh. It was funded by the university’s Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center and the NIH-supported Obesity and Nutrition Research Center.
Researchers followed 51 overweight and obese men and women ages 21-55 for six months. Participants were divided into three groups: those using no armbands but attending group lifestyle intervention meetings; those using armbands with phone and email support for their weight loss efforts; and those combining armband use with face-to-face group intervention.
Results at six months showed:
- 100% retention of participants in the full six-month study for those who used the armband system in conjunction with face-to-face group intervention, indicating that pairing body monitoring with behavior support can keep people motivated and engaged.
- An average 19-pound weight loss for the combined armband/group intervention group, more than double that of the group receiving lifestyle intervention alone.*
- An average 12-pound weight loss for the armband/phone and email support group – again exceeding results for group intervention only – suggesting that self-monitoring and remote support may be a more convenient and less expensive alternative than in-person programs.
- More food logging and greater reductions in food intake for armband users compared to no-armband participants, suggesting that using the armband software increases self-monitoring of food consumption as well as promoting greater weight loss.
“The study results show a positive weight loss model that may be achieved with minimal in-person contact,” said senior author Dr. John Jakicic, of the University of Pittsburgh Physical Activity and Weight Management Resource Center. “A weight loss program that can be delivered in this manner and achieve significant weight loss through a lifestyle program of healthy eating and physical activity should become a major part of the weight loss solution dialogue.”
Weight Loss Can Triple
Appearing in the February print issue of Obesity, the University of Pittsburgh study follows another examination of the effects of electronic body monitoring on weight loss published last year in International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. That study, Electronic Feedback in a Diet and Physical-Activity Based Lifestyle Intervention for Weight Loss, was conducted by Dr. Steven Blair, P.E.D. from the Departments of Exercise Science and Epidemiology Biostatistics, University of South Carolina.
Blair’s randomized trial followed 197 overweight or obese men and women for nine months. Results showed that participants who received both BodyMedia armbands and group intervention lost three times more weight at nine months when compared with those receiving group intervention alone. The difference between the two groups was more than 10 pounds at nine months. Significant reductions in waist circumference and body fat also occurred.
“Examining effective methods to promote the behavior skills needed to produce weight loss and weight maintenance is critical to success,” Blair said. “Self-monitoring devices have emerged as a key part of weight management because they increase awareness of energy intake and expenditure and help people make better decisions that lead to increased weight loss.”
“We have known for more than a decade that wearable body monitors are valuable tools for promoting the lifestyle changes that produce weight loss. These two studies not only provide solid evidence but also measure the results,” said Christine Robins, CEO, BodyMedia Inc. “In addition, they demonstrate that wearing a monitor can actually be a factor in sustaining a weight loss program and an effective adjunct to in-person weight loss support. These are important findings that point the way to improving strategies for weight control.”
About BodyMedia, Inc.
When your body talks, BodyMedia listens. BodyMedia has been unlocking and deciphering secrets of the body since 1999. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, BodyMedia is the pioneer in developing and marketing wearable body monitors that equip consumers with information they can use to make sweeping changes to their own health and wellness beginning with weight management and soon to include management of other conditions affected by lifestyle choices. The BodyMedia platform is the only system of its kind that is registered with the FDA as a Class II medical device and that has been clinically proven to enhance users’ weight loss by up to three times (data on file). For more information, visit www.bodymedia.com.
*Due to the size of this pilot study and other factors, comparisons between standard face-to-face behavioral weight loss programs and combined technology/face-to-face support programs may not be conclusive.
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