a1 School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, New South Wales 2308, Australia
a2 Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
a3 School of Education, Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
Objective As further understanding is required of what behavioural factors are associated with long-term weight-loss success, the aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of successful weight loss 15 months post-enrolment in a commercial web-based weight-loss programme and which behavioural factors were associated with success.
Design An online survey was completed 15 months post-enrolment in a commercial web-based weight-loss programme to assess weight-related behaviours and current weight. Participants were classified as successful if they had lost ≥5 % of their starting weight after 15 months.
Setting Commercial users of a web-based weight-loss programme.
Subjects Participants enrolled in the commercial programme between August 2007 and May 2008. Six hundred and seventy-seven participants completed the survey.
Results The median (interquartile range) weight change was −2·7 (−8·2, 1·6) % of enrolment weight, with 37 % achieving ≥5 % weight loss. Multivariate logistic regression analysis found success was associated with frequency of weight self-monitoring, higher dietary restraint score, lower emotional eating score, not skipping meals, not keeping snack foods in the house and eating takeaway foods less frequently.
Conclusions The findings suggest that individuals trying to achieve or maintain ≥5 % weight loss should be advised to regularly weigh themselves, avoid skipping meals or keeping snack foods in the house, limit the frequency of takeaway food consumption, manage emotional eating and strengthen dietary restraint. Strategies to assist individuals make these changes to behaviour should be incorporated within obesity treatments to improve the likelihood of successful weight loss in the long term.
(Received July 11 2011)
(Accepted October 25 2011)
(Online publication November 29 2011)