Effect of a Web-Based Behavior Change Program on Weight Loss and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Overweight and Obese Adults at High Risk of Developing Cardiovascular Disease: Randomized Controlled Trial

Type Article

Journal Article


S. Watson; J. V. Woodside; L. J. Ware; S. J. Hunter; A. McGrath; C. R. Cardwell; K. M. Appleton; I. S. Young; M. C. McKinley

Year of publication



J Med Internet Res








BACKGROUND: Web-based programs are a potential medium for supporting weight loss because of their accessibility and wide reach. Research is warranted to determine the shorter- and longer-term effects of these programs in relation to weight loss and other health outcomes. OBJECTIVE: The aim was to evaluate the effects of a Web-based component of a weight loss service (Imperative Health) in an overweight/obese population at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) using a randomized controlled design and a true control group. METHODS: A total of 65 overweight/obese adults at high risk of CVD were randomly allocated to 1 of 2 groups. Group 1 (n=32) was provided with the Web-based program, which supported positive dietary and physical activity changes and assisted in managing weight. Group 2 continued with their usual self-care (n=33). Assessments were conducted face-to-face. The primary outcome was between-group change in weight at 3 months. Secondary outcomes included between-group change in anthropometric measurements, blood pressure, lipid measurements, physical activity, and energy intake at 3, 6, and 12 months. Interviews were conducted to explore participants' views of the Web-based program. RESULTS: Retention rates for the intervention and control groups at 3 months were 78% (25/32) vs 97% (32/33), at 6 months were 66% (21/32) vs 94% (31/33), and at 12 months were 53% (17/32) vs 88% (29/33). Intention-to-treat analysis, using baseline observation carried forward imputation method, revealed that the intervention group lost more weight relative to the control group at 3 months (mean -3.41, 95% CI -4.70 to -2.13 kg vs mean -0.52, 95% CI -1.55 to 0.52 kg, P