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Evaluating the feasibility and impact of interactive telephone technology and incentives when combined with a behavioral intervention for weight loss: a pilot study

Authors Hess MA, Vance DE, McKie PR, Burton LS, Ard JD, Klapow J

Received 4 April 2012

Accepted for publication 28 June 2012

Published 22 August 2012 Volume 2012:2 Pages 33—43


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Mary Annette Hess,1 David E Vance,1,2 Peggy R McKie,1 Laura S Burton,3 Jamy D Ard,4 Josh Klapow5,6

School of Nursing, 2Edward R Roybal Center for Translational Research in Aging and Mobility, 3Department of Nutrition Sciences, 4UAB EatRight Weight Management Services, Department of Nutrition Sciences, 5School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, AL, USA; 6ChipRewards, Inc, Birmingham, AL, USA

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of delivering the ‘EatRight Lifestyle’ program as an educational weight loss program when combined with a system for behavior-based incentives (ie, ChipRewards). Participants (N = 70) were randomly assigned to one of two interventions over a 12-week period: (1) ‘EatRight Lifestyle’ only (control), and (2) ‘EatRight Lifestyle plus ChipRewards’. From baseline to the 12-week visit, the overall attrition rate was 27.14% (n = 19). A completers only and an intent-to-treat repeated measures analysis of covariance was conducted on the outcome measures (ie, weight loss, change in blood glucose) for the baseline and 12-week visit. It was found that waist circumference decreased slightly for those in the ‘EatRight Lifestyle plus ChipRewards’ program; however, BMI and weight was slightly more reduced for those who were more compliant to the study protocol in general, regardless of group assignment. No other time or group differences were detected. This study showed that these two weight loss programs did not produce drastically differential effects on these outcome measures.

Keywords: behavior, obesity, diet, physical activity, education, token economy, online intervention, phone counseling

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