Initial Evaluation of a Scalable Lifestyle Program for Sustained Weight Loss

Published in Journal of Obesity and Weight Loss Therapy

Author(s): Brent Hamar; Carter Coberley; James E. Pope; and Elizabeth Y. Rula

The growing prevalence of obesity and associated morbidity indicates the need for effective programs for sustainable lifestyle changes to achieve and maintain meaningful weight loss. The Practice-based Opportunities for Weight Reduction (POWER) trial found that a scalable, remotely-delivered intervention achieved significant and meaningful weight loss over 24 months compared to a usual care control group, with results that were statistically comparable to an in-person-based intervention also tested in the study and designed with the same principles. Given that results from clinical trials in research settings do not necessarily translate to larger scaled delivery of interventions, the objective of this study is to evaluate a pilot-implementation of Innergy, a weight loss program designed to replicate the remote-arm of the POWER trial that provided online support and regular telephonic coaching. An intention-totreat retrospective design evaluates weight loss within 6-months among 265 participants offered the program through their employer. The mean change in weight from baseline for the study group was -6.8 lbs. (P<0.0001) and 23% of participants lost 5.0% or more of their initial starting weight. Greater weight loss was associated with greater levels of participation. Specifically, members who utilized a broader range of program support components, took more coaching calls, regularly used the website, and tracked their weight, food and exercise lost significantly more weight. Similarly, longer duration of active participation was associated with greater weight loss. Participants who interacted with the program into the final month of study lost an average of 11.5 lbs, 5.0% of their starting weight. Study results show that Innergy is an effective weight loss program that can be delivered at scale, and thus can have a broad-spanning impact on obesity.

Key Takeaways:

  • Innergy is a weight loss program by Sharecare and Johns Hopkins that uses the remote, multi-channel intervention strategy proven effective in the NIH POWER trial.
  • This pilot study confirmed that the commercial Innergy program is an effective translation of the POWER remote intervention when scaled and delivered in a “real world” employer setting.
  • Innergy participants lost 6.8 pounds on average over 6-months. Participants who stayed active in the program lost 11.5 pounds, or 5.0% of initial body weight, an amount associated with reduced disease risk.
  • Participants who utilized the range of Innergy support tools more fully lost significantly more weight.
  • Results show that Innergy, using the model from POWER shown to create meaningful and lasting weight loss, can be delivered at scale to achieve significant weight loss among obese individuals.
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