Introduction: Young women are gaining weight rapidly, but traditional weight loss programs fail to reach, engage or retain them. The Be Positive Be Healthe (BPBH) pilot randomised control trial (RCT) will test feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a tailored eHealth weight loss intervention (BPBH) targeting young women. Our aim is to describe the RCT methods and participant baseline characteristics.
Methods: Young (18-35 years) overweight or obese women (BMI 25- 35kg/m2) were randomly allocated to BPBH or a waiting list control group. BPBH aims to achieve modest weight reduction (5 to 10%) by supporting participants in making changes to key eating behaviours and physical activities, and encouraging use of evidenced-based weight loss strategies (e.g. self-monitoring). BPBH program resources are age and gender tailored, and delivered using eHealth technologies (website, online quizzes with email feedback, social media, smartphone application, email newsletters and text messages). Outcomes are objectively measured at baseline and 6 months, including weight, waist circumference, body fat percentage, blood lipids, dietary intake and physical activity level. Program acceptability is evaluated by participants and intervention usage objectively tracked.
Results: In April 2015, 57 women were recruited from the Hunter region of NSW. Participants had a mean±SD BMI of 29.4±2.5kg/m2, waist circumference of 88.4±8.5cm, body fat of 37.7±5.7%, total cholesterol of 5.0±0.9mmol/L, energy intake of 8483±3647kJ/day, and sitting time of 10.3±5.7hours/day. One third (38%) did not meet national physical activity recommendations for time spent in moderate to vigorous activity and 44% exceeded national alcohol intake recommendations. Post-intervention follow-up will be completed November 2016.
Conclusion: An age and gender tailored eHealth weight loss intervention has been developed to address the unmet treatment needs of a high risk group. Findings of the pilot RCT will inform the development of weight loss interventions for young women that could be widely translated and disseminated.