Clinical obesity treatments are of limited reach. Self-directed weight control attempts are common, but little attention has been given to providing guidance for such efforts in the population. The present research tests a brief intervention approach to weight control. Pilot data were collected from 66 University of Minnesota employees (72.7% women, 81.8% white) randomized to an assessment-only control condition or a single intervention session to teach empirically valid self-directed weight-control methods. Mean baseline weight was 87.1 kilograms (range 64.0-120.3 kilograms). Though statistically nonsignificant, intervention participants averaged greater weight loss by 6 months than controls (-.80 kilograms vs. -.19 kilograms), F(1, 44) =.47, p =.50, Cohen's d =.21. There was a significant group time interaction for self-weighing frequency, F(2, 41) = 10.84, p < .001. With some enhancement and more attention to dissemination, a brief self-directed program has potential as a useful approach to population weight-gain prevention.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant P30 DK050456–13.