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Using Synchronous Distance-Education Technology to Deliver a Weight Management Intervention

      Abstract

      Objective

      To compare the effectiveness of online delivery of a weight management program using synchronous (real-time), distance-education technology to in-person delivery.

      Methods

      Synchronous, distance-education technology was used to conduct weekly sessions for participants with a live instructor. Program effectiveness was indicated by changes in weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and confidence in ability to eat healthy and be physically active.

      Results

      Online class participants (n = 398) had significantly greater reductions in BMI, weight, and waist circumference than in-person class participants (n = 1,313). Physical activity confidence increased more for in-person than online class participants. There was no difference for healthy eating confidence.

      Conclusions and Implications

      This project demonstrates the feasibility of using synchronous distance-education technology to deliver a weight management program. Synchronous online delivery could be employed with no loss to improvements in BMI, weight, and waist circumference.

      Key Words

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