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Arnold School of Public Health


Internet Assisted Obesity Treatment Enhanced by Financial Incentives


Study Overview

Our previous research has demonstrated that our online behavioral weight control program consistently produces modest but clinically significant weight losses.  The current study examines whether the addition of financial incentives for behavior changes and achieving weight loss goals to the standard online weight control program will substantially increase the weight losses achieved in comparison to the standard online program alone.

A total of 418 participants (27% minority) were recruited from the Burlington VT and Columbia SC areas (approximately half in each center).  These individuals were randomized to either (1) an 18-month, 36-session online group-based behavioral weight control program or (2) the same 18-month, 36-session online program plus financial incentives.  Participants were assessed at 2, 6, 12 and 18 months.


National Institutes of Health (NIDDK) (RO1 DK056746-14; 2015-2020)

Research Team

Dual PIs:
Delia West PhD - UofSC, Department of Exercise Science
Jean Harvey, PhD - University of Vermont, Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences

Current Status

Analyses are underway.  A manuscript describing the benefits of financial incentives to increase the weight losses in the first 6 months of the program has been published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.



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