One-year weight loss with a telephone-based lifestyle program

Christina Holzapfel, Melissa Merl, Lynne Stecher, Hans Hauner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Telephone-based weight loss programs are offered as an alternative to face-to-face obesity treatments, but data on the effectiveness regarding weight loss are limited. Therefore, we evaluated a telephone-based lifestyle program in a real-world setting. Methods: The telephone-based intervention consists of regular phone calls providing individualized lifestyle recommendations, and delivery of printed materials. Anthropometric and metabolic data are collected by general practitioners or are self-reported. Results: Baseline data were available from 398 participants (61% men; weight 103.12 ± 14.21 kg; BMI 33.38 ± 2.83 kg/m2) and 1-year data from 258 (65%) participants. In the completers, mean weight change was -4.25 ± 5.18 kg (p < 0.001) which corresponds to a mean percentage body weight change of -4.10 ± 4.88%. 87 participants (34%) lost more than 5% of their initial body weight, with 29 (11%) losing more than 10% of their initial body weight. 40 participants (16%) gained weight over this period. A reduction of abdominal girth of -0.59 cm (95% CI 0.34, 0.85 cm; p < 0.001) and total cholesterol of -1.55 mg/dl (95% CI 0.04, 3.05 mg/dl; p = 0.044) per kilogram weight loss was observed. Conclusions: The telephone-based lifestyle program results in a moderate weight loss after 12 months, which may be comparable to face-to-face interventions. Telephone-based weight loss support is independent of time and location and represents a tool which is also accepted by men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-240
Number of pages11
JournalObesity Facts
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Lifestyle intervention
  • Obesity
  • Telephone-based intervention
  • Weight loss


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