BestFIT: a Personalized Weight Loss Program

2015-03-03 00:08:21 | BioPortfolio


The purpose of this study is to learn how to personalize weight loss programs. In this research we will study:

1. Whether a weight loss counselor should decide if the traditional weight loss therapy is working either after 3 or 7 weekly sessions of therapy and

2. For those who haven't lost the expected amount of weight, whether it is more effective to add packaged meals to the traditional weight loss therapy or to change to an enhanced version of behavioral weight loss therapy.


The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends referral to behavioral weight loss programs to help obese adults achieve a clinically meaningful weight loss of 8-10% of starting body weight. However, approximately half of participants are unable to achieve this goal. Despite this, a"one size fits all" approach is the norm, a major drawback because those who do not respond can in fact be detected early. This gap in weight loss intervention science calls for an adaptive intervention approach that could provide the "right treatment at the right time for the right person". Adaptive interventions individualize treatment through empirically-supported decision rules advising when and how treatments should unfold over time to maximize effectiveness. Sequential Multiple Assignment Randomized Trials (SMART), developed explicitly to build the best adaptive interventions, use experimental design principles to develop these decision rules. The investigators will use a SMART to systematically evaluate therapeutic approach and timing differences for intervening with those who do not respond to a behavioral weight loss program. Self-regulation challenges have been identified as a major adherence barrier. Two attractive options to address self-regulation difficulties are: 1) supplementing behavioral treatment with Meal Replacements (MR) which decreases the need for self-regulation; and 2) switching therapeutic approaches by using an enhanced version of behavioral weight loss therapy that teaches acceptance based behavioral skills which boost capacity for self-regulation. Additionally, two time points for intervening with non-responders will be evaluated: 1) 3 weeks, based on current weight loss trial evidence; and 2) 7 weeks, based on average time used in the existing stepped care literature. Adults (n=500) will be recruited and will receive individual behavioral weight loss treatment (BWL). Participants will be randomized to either: 1) treatment response assessment at 3 weeks or 2) treatment response assessment at 7 weeks. Subjects who have lost the expected amount of weight at their assessment point, will continue with traditional behavioral weight loss therapy. For those who have not lost the expected amount of weight, we will re-randomize them to either meal replacements in addition to the traditional weight loss therapy or to the enhanced version of behavioral weight loss therapy.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment




Behavioral weight loss therapy, Meal replacements, Enhanced behavioral weight loss therapy


Not yet recruiting


HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2015-03-03T00:08:21-0500

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