The project compared counselling via phone and e-mail with the standard practice of issuing self-help literature in approximately 1400 workers as an aid to weight management.
The study was undertaken by a group led by Willem Van Mechelen of the Department of Public and Occupational Health/EMGO Institute of VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. This study was funded by The Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development, The Netherlands Heart Foundation and Body@Work TNO-VUmc.
Globally, obesity rates are increasing. However, few people receive professional help in weight management programmes; the reasons for this are unknown. The face-to-face counselling of these programmes requires frequent visits to a treatment facility, making it less appealing for those with busy lifestyles. In cases like this, counselling by phone or via the internet may be of greater use. Trials evaluating phone counselling for weight loss programmes have shown mixed results, and few trials have evaluated e-mail based counselling, but those that have found the results encouraging. The impacts of the two have not, however, been compared.
The study set out to assess the effects of fortnightly counselling sessions by phone or internet on weight loss and diet in overweight workers after six months.
The participants in this study, each with a BMI greater than 25 (the level considered overweight), were employees recruited from seven companies. They were randomly split into three groups: a control group, one which received written programme-materials and counselling via phone and another which had access to an interactive programme-website and received counselling via e-mail. All of the participants, including the control group, received self-help brochures that emphasised the importance of physical exercise and diet. The counselling received by the internet and phone groups included encouragement to fit physical activity into their normal routine, such as taking a walk at lunch, and stressed eating a healthy diet. These interventions were continued for up to 6 months.
The researchers assessed the body weight of each participant and each was given a questionnaire by which their food intake, physical activity and waist measurements were assessed. These measurements were taken again six months later.
Overall, all the groups had significant weight loss and reduced their fat intake, but those in the phone group lost the most weight and had the greatest improvement in diet. There were no overall significant differences between the phone and internet groups and both groups that received counselling lost more weight than participants who did not. Those in the phone group also increased their physical activity to a greater extent.
The authors concluded that lifestyle counselling by phone and e-mail is effective for weight management. According to Van Mechelen, “this could form the basis of improvements in weight management programmes for those unwilling to seek face-to-face counselling. Future studies should evaluate the cost effectiveness of such schemes.”
Graeme Baldwin | alfa
NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...
On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...
The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...
At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.
When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...
At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.
Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
08.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences
16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
16.03.2018 | Life Sciences