November 02, 2016
1 min read

Daily texting feedback effective for weight loss

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NEW ORLEANS — Financial incentives for weight loss may not increase reductions; however, daily texting feedback may be effective.

“Self-monitoring with daily weighing, particularly when combined with text message feedback, is an effective weight-management strategy,” William S. Yancy, Jr., MD, MHS, FTOS, director of Duke University Diet and Fitness Center, told Endocrine Today. “Different types or higher amounts of incentives than those tested may enhance this strategy.”

William Yancy
William S. Yancy, Jr.

Yancy and colleagues evaluated 189 adults (mean age, 49 years; BMI, 30 to 45 kg/m2) randomly assigned to a daily lottery-based incentive, a daily direct incentive and a control without monetary incentive to determine the effect of financial incentives for maintaining weight loss.

Daily texting feedback about achieving weight-loss goals was received by all participants. The weight-loss interventions were received for 6 months followed by monitoring for an additional 6 months.

Mean weight changes were greater in the lottery group compared with the other two groups at 6 months (lottery, -3 kg; direct, -2.9 kg; control, -1.4 kg; all pairwise comparisons P > .1) and 12 months (lottery, -1.9 kg; direct, -0.7 kg; control, -0.3 kg; all pairwise comparisons P > .1).

Maintenance of weight loss at 6 months was achieved by 79% of the lottery group, 76% of the direct group and 67% of the control group (all pairwise comparisons P > .1).

“At home daily weigh-ins with text message feedback led to weight loss maintenance over 12 months with no significant enhancement from the addition of either direct or lottery-based financial incentives,” Yancy told Endocrine Today. “Participants who typically weighed themselves at least 5 days a week had further weight loss on average, whereas those who weighed less than 5 days per week regained weight. Using a similar platform of daily weighing with text message feedback, we are testing escalating lottery-based financial incentives to see it this may increase effectiveness.” – by Amber Cox


Yancy W, et al. ORAL T-OR-2016. Presented at: ObesityWeek 2016; Oct. 31-Nov. 4, 2016; New Orleans.

Disclosure: Yancy reports no relevant financial disclosures.