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Online Program Reduces Weight in UNC Study

11 Jan

Researchers from the Department of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill examined the efficacy of a podcasting program to promote weight loss.

The study sample was made up of 78 overweight men and women in the Raleigh-Durham NC area. They were randomly assigned to receive 24 episodes of a currently available weight-loss podcast (control podcast) or a 12-week weight-loss podcast based on social cognitive theory (SCT), designed by the researchers (enhanced podcast).

Outcomes were measured by weight on a digital scale at baseline and follow-up. Both groups also completed questionnaires assessing demographic information, food intake, physical activity, and SCT constructs at the introductory and 12-week meetings. Additional questionnaires at the 12-week meeting assessed perceptions of the intervention.

Data revealed that the enhanced podcast group (n=41) had a greater decrease in weight (-2.9+/-3.5 kg enhanced group vs -0.3+/-2.1 control group; p<0.001 between groups) and BMI (-1.0+/-1.2 kg/m(2) enhanced group vs -0.1+/-0.7 kg/m(2) control group; p<0.001 between groups) than the control group (n=37) and had greater weight-loss-related knowledge (p<0.05), elaboration (p<0.001), and user control (p<0.001) and less cognitive load (p<0.001).

The results of this study suggest that the use of behavioral, theory-based podcasting may be an effective way to promote weight loss.

Citation:  Turner-McGrievy GM, Campbell MK, Tate DF, Truesdale KP, Bowling JM, Crosby L. Pounds Off Digitally study: a randomized podcasting weight-loss intervention. American Journal of Preventive Medicine  2009 Oct; 37 (4): pages 263-9. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award