AUGUST 29, 2006 - Posted at 7:46 a.m. CDT
LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Researchers in Arkansas and Vermont will
conduct a study to determine if Internet-based weight-loss programs
are more effective than programs delivered in-person during group
settings, such as the Weight Watchers program.
Delia West, director of the Interdisciplinary Obesity Program at
the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and professor in
the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, says the
in-person weight-loss programs are the QUOTE ``gold standard''
West says that Internet-based weight-loss programs, if
effective, can present a lot of opportunities for rural areas.
Researchers here and at the University of Vermont will track
five groups of participants for 18 months each before concluding in
2010. The National Institutes of Health is backing the 3-point-7
(M) million dollar study.
Each wave of participants is being randomly assigned to three
groups. One group will become part of an in-person only weight
control program; one group will attend in-person sessions as well
as Internet sessions, and the third group will be served by only