Telehealth program results in clinically significant weight loss

A telehealth-based weight loss program utilizing a health coach through video conferencing could result in clinically significant weight loss of over 5 percent of initial body weight in six months. Findings are published in the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare.

In this study, researchers examined the effect of a telehealth weight loss program on assisting obese patients in losing a clinically significant amount of weight. A total of 25 obese participants were included in the study of the 12-week online program. All participants were given access to a platform for data tracking and video conferencing with the research team, but the intervention group had the additional opportunity to meet with a medical doctor once a month and with a dietitian weekly.

Results showed participants in the intervention group were able to lose a higher percentage of body weight than those in the control group. Additionally, clinically significant weight loss was achieved in 69.2 percent of intervention participants while only 8 percent of the control group achieved the same.

“Mobile phone-based health coaching may promote weight loss,” concluded first author Michelle Alencar, PhD, and colleagues. “Weekly video conferencing with education may be an applicable tool for inducing significant body weight loss in obese individuals.”