Utilization patterns and user characteristics of an ad libitum Internet weight loss program

Martin Binks, T. van Mierlo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The Internet holds promise for the delivery of evidence-based weight loss treatment to underserved populations. However, most studies do not reflect the more naturalistic and common ad libitum, or freely at will, use of the Internet. Randomized clinical trials, for example, typically include at least some direct contact with participants and often have restrictive selection criteria. There is a paucity of research examining utilization patterns of online weight loss programs, particularly in the rapidly expanding direct-to-consumer arena. OBJECTIVES: To examine self-reported characteristics (age, body mass index [BMI], gender), behaviors, and Internet site utilization patterns of a sample of users of a direct-to-consumer ad libitum Internet weight loss program. METHODS: This study is based on analysis of archival data from the initial 15 weeks of an ongoing, free, evidence-based, direct-to-consumer Internet weight loss program, the Healthy Weight Center, which included sta
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e9
JournalJ Med Internet Res
StatePublished - 2010


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