Table of Contents
ISRN Obesity
Volume 2012, Article ID 465158, 4 pages
Research Article

Physical Activity Enhancement to a Behavioral Weight Loss Program for Severely Obese Individuals: A Preliminary Investigation

Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center, The Miriam Hospital and Brown Medical School, 196 Richmond Street, Providence, RI 02903, USA

Received 14 August 2012; Accepted 5 September 2012

Academic Editors: E. K. Naderali and C. Schmidt

Copyright © 2012 Jessica L. Unick et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Severe obesity is characterized by low physical activity (PA) and interventions to enhance PA are needed. Participants (45.0 ± 3.9 kg/m2) were randomized to a 6-month standard behavioral weight loss program (SBWL; n = 14) or SBWL+technology (SBWL+TECH; n = 15). Both groups received identical SBWL treatment and SBWL+TECH also received a wearable PA monitor, providing “real-time” feedback, and website access to monitor energy balance. 6-month retention was similar between groups (SBWL: 12/13 versus SBWL+TECH: 11/14 completers; P = 0.19) and adherence to wearing the armband was excellent (91.3% of days). Although differences in PA between groups did not meet conventional thresholds of significance, SBWL+TECH increased their moderate-to-vigorous intensity PA by 132.9 ± 216.8 min/week, which was 3 times greater than SBWL (44.8 ± 124.3 min/week; P = 0.27; Cohen’s d = 0.50). There was a trend for SBWL+TECH to self-monitor for a greater proportion of days compared to SBWL (86.2 ± 21.4% versus 71.5 ± 19.4%; P = 0.098; Cohen’s d = 0.72). The difference in weight loss between groups was modest (SBWL+TECH: −10.0 ± 7.1% versus SBWL: −7.8 ± 6.7%; P = 0.46). These preliminary findings suggest that PA monitors may be one strategy for increasing PA among the severely obese. Larger, long-term trials are needed.