Evaluation of a text supported weight maintenance programme ‘Lighten Up Plus’ following a weight reduction programme: randomised controlled trial

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Many overweight people find it difficult to maintain weight loss after attending a weight reduction programme. Self-weighing and telephone support are known to be useful methods for self-monitoring for weight loss. We examined the effectiveness of an SMS-text messaging based weight maintenance programme to encourage regular self-weighing in adults who had completed a 12 week commercial weight loss programme.
Randomised controlled trial of 380 obese or overweight men and women. The intervention group (n=190) received a single maintenance support phone call and SMS-text based weight maintenance messages over 12 weeks to encourage regular self-weighing after completing their weight loss programme. The primary outcome was change in weight at nine months follow up.
Our sample (N=380) had a mean age of 47.4 years (SD 13.4), mean baseline weight and BMI of 93.1kg (16.1) and 34.4 kg/m2 (5.0) respectively, as well as majority female (87.3%) and White British (80.0%). Using intention to treat analysis both groups regained weight at nine months follow up; the intervention group regained an average of 1.36 kg while the control group regained 1.81 kg. Adjusting for covariates resulted in a mean difference of 0.45 kg (95% CI -0.78, 1.67) favouring the intervention group at nine month follow up.
We found no evidence that an SMS based weight maintenance intervention encouraging adults to weigh themselves weekly prevented weight regain at three or nine months after completing a commercial weight loss programme.


Original languageEnglish
JournalThe International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Issue number19
Early online date12 Feb 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Feb 2016