Sitting at a computer may help you lose weight

March 13, 2001 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Weight Management

Sitting at a computer may help you lose weight

Provided, of course, that you exercise and diet. In a study of 65 overweight adults, weight-loss information web sites helped people shed pounds. And people who also received weekly e-mail advice from behavioral therapists had even better results.

Dieters who got the Internet counseling sessions lost three times as much weight in six months (9 pounds versus 3) as those who just had access to diet and exercise Web sites.

The study conducted at Brown University enrolled participants, ages 18 to 60, who were about 30 pounds overweight on average. All received a one-hour group dieting lesson. They also were advised to monitor their progress and were directed to Web sites with tips on keeping track of daily food intake and exercise.

About half also were encouraged to have weekly e-mail contact with a behavioral therapist, who counseled them on their food and exercise regimens. They could also contact other participants through an electronic bulletin board.

Logging on more frequently was associated with better weight loss in both groups. But the study also shows that a structured program with continued contact works better than just giving people access to information online. The Internet therapy group lost only about half as much weight as would be expected in face-to-face behavioral programs.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.