Back to Basics? No Weight Loss from Motivational Interviewing Compared to Nutrition Psychoeducation at One-Year Follow-Up

Rachel D. Barnes, Valentina Ivezaj, Steve Martino, Brian P. Pittman, Carlos M. Grilo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: Weight loss interventions have begun to receive increasing attention in primary care. Motivational interviewing (MI) is compatible with primary care because it requires relatively limited time and resources. Few studies, however, have examined the long-term impact of MI for weight loss in primary care, and none have used attention-control comparisons. This study was the first randomized controlled trial with a 12-month follow-up of two Web-supported interventions: motivational interviewing and internet condition (MIC) and nutrition psychoeducation and internet condition (NPC). Methods: Fifty-nine patients with overweight or obesity, with and without binge-eating disorder (BED), were randomized to treatments and assessed at 12-month follow-up after completing 3-month treatments in primary care (15 months total). Results: Mixed models examining weight loss at 12 months revealed a group and time interaction effect trend (P = 0.054; d′ = 0.57). Secondary end point analysis showed a decrease (−1.7%) versus an increase (1.3%) in weight at 12 months among NPC and MIC patients, respectively (P = 0.056; d′ = 0.57). Overall, 5 of 44 (11.4%) participants lost or maintained 5% weight losses; differences between treatments were not significant. BED status did not impact weight loss. Conclusions: Two brief and scalable weight loss interventions resulted in small effect sizes for weight loss 12 months following treatment conclusion. Because MIC required significantly more resources for adequate implementation, NPC may be more cost-effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2074-2078
Number of pages5
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding agencies: This study was supported by NIH career development awards, K23-DK092279 for RDB and K24-DK070052 for CMG. Disclosure: CMG reports consultant fees from Shire and Sunovion, honoraria from American Psychological Association, American Academy of CME, Vindico CME, Global Medical Education, Medscape CME, CME Institute of Physicians Postgraduate Press, and from professional and scientific conferences for lectures and presentations, and book royalties from Guilford Press and Taylor and Francis for academic books. The other authors declared no conflict of interest. Clinical trial registration: identifier NCT02578199. Received: 24 May 2017; Accepted: 26 July 2017; Published online 31 October 2017. doi:10.1002/oby.21972

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Obesity Society


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