Research is at the heart of the TecHealth activities, with a focus on designing, implementing and evaluating lifestyle interventions to promote good health and reduce risk of disease which feature technology as a central element or to effectively deliver the interventions. Current research projects conducted by the TecHealth team are described below, as well as selected completed projects.
Our previous research has demonstrated that our online behavioral weight control program consistently produces modest but clinically significant weight losses. The current study examines whether the addition of financial incentives to the standard online weight control program will substantially increase the weight losses achieved in comparison to the standard online program alone.
More than two-thirds (69%) of adults in the United States are overweight or obese which is linked to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and some cancers. This pilot feasibility study examines whether a behavioral weight control program that engages the natural social support system of participants through the shared use of technology and social media produces better weight loss outcomes than a standard group-based behavioral weight control program alone.
Behavioral weight control programs are effective in helping overweight and obese individuals lose weight and improve their health. This study was the first to examine the same behavioral program delivered in-person compared with online; the only aspect in which these programs differed was the channel by which it was delivered.
Our earlier study indicated that a group behavioral obesity treatment program delivered totally over the Internet produced clinically significant weight loss among overweight and obese individuals but the average weight losses were lower than those achieved with an in-person version of the same program. This study will compare weight losses achieved with the online group program compared with the same program PLUS individual online Motivational Interviewing (MI) sessions.