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
NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology
07.12.2016 | Nanyang Technological University
How to turn white fat brown
07.12.2016 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine
07.12.2016 | Life Sciences
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine