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1.  Use of a Computerized Tracking System to Monitor and Provide Feedback on Dietary Goals for Calorie-Restricted Diets: The POUNDS LOST Study 
The use of self-monitoring as a tool to facilitate behavioral modification is common in many lifestyle-based weight loss interventions. Electronic tracking programs, including computer-based systems and smart phone applications, have been developed to allow individuals to self-monitor their behavior digitally. These programs offer an advantage over traditional self-report modalities in that they can provide users with direct feedback about dietary and/or physical activity adherence levels and thereby assist them in real-time decision making. This article describes the use of an Internet-based computerized tracking system (CTS) that was developed specifically for the POUNDS LOST study, a 2-year randomized controlled trial designed to test the efficacy of four macronutrient diets for weight and fat reduction in healthy, overweight men and women (body mass index range = 25.0–39.9 kg/m2). The CTS served many functions in this study, including data collection, dietary and exercise assessment and feedback, messaging system, and report generation. Across all groups, participants with high usage of the CTS during the initial 8 weeks lost greater amounts of weight than participants with low usage (8.7% versus 5.5% of initial body weight, respectively; p < .001) at week 32. Rates of CTS utilization were highest during the first year of this 2-year intervention, and utilization of the CTS declined steadily over time. The unique features of the CTS combined with technological developments, such as smart phone applications, offer significant potential to improve the user’s self-monitoring experience and adherence to health promotion programs designed specifically for individuals with obesity and type 2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3570857  PMID: 23063049
computerized tracking system; self-monitoring; smart phones; weight loss
2.  H.E.A.L.T.H.: Efficacy of an Internet/Population-Based Behavioral Weight Management Program for the U.S. Army 
Background
A significant number of soldiers exceed the maximum allowable weight standards or have body weights approaching the maximum allowable weight standards. This mandates development of scalable approaches to improve compliance with military weight standards.
Methods
We developed an intervention that included two components: (1) an Internet-based weight management program (Web site) and (2) a promotion program designed to promote and sustain usage of the Web site. The Web site remained online for 37 months, with the Web site promotion program ending after 25 months.
Results
Soldiers’ demographics were as follows: mean age, 32 years; body mass index (BMI), 28 kg/m2; 31% female; and 58% Caucasian. Civilian demographics were as follows: mean age, 38 years; BMI, 30 kg/m2; 84% female; and 55% Caucasian. Results indicated that 2417 soldiers and 2147 civilians (N = 4564) registered on the Web site. In the first 25 months (phase 1) of the study, new participants enrolled on the Web site at a rate of 88 (soldiers) and 80 (civilians) per month. After the promotion program was removed (phase 2), new participants enrolled at a rate of 18 (soldiers) and 13 (civilians) per month. Utilization of the Web site was associated with self-reported weight loss (p < .0001). Participants who utilized the Web site more frequently lost more weight (p < .0001). Participants reported satisfaction with the Web site.
Conclusions
The Web site and accompanying promotion program, when implemented at a military base, received satisfactory ratings and benefited a subset of participants in promoting weight loss. This justifies further examination of effectiveness in a randomized trial setting.
PMCID: PMC3045224  PMID: 21303642
Army; Internet weight management; military; obesity; obesity prevention; weight loss
3.  Military Services Fitness Database: Development of a Computerized Physical Fitness and Weight Management Database for the U.S. Army 
Military medicine  2009;174(1):1-8.
The Department of Defense (DoD) has mandated development of a system to collect and manage data on the weight, percent body fat (%BF), and fitness of all military personnel. This project aimed to (1) develop a computerized weight and fitness database to track individuals and Army units over time allowing cross-sectional and longitudinal evaluations and (2) test the computerized system for feasibility and integrity of data collection over several years of usage. The computer application, the Military Services Fitness Database (MSFD), was designed for (1) storage and tracking of data related to height, weight, %BF for the Army Weight Control Program (AWCP) and Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) scores and (2) generation of reports using these data. A 2.5-year pilot test of the MSFD indicated that it monitors population and individual trends of changing body weight, %BF, and fitness in a military population.
PMCID: PMC2761744  PMID: 19216292
4.  The development of the Body Morph Assessment version 2.0 (BMA 2.0): Tests of reliability and validity 
Body image  2009;6(2):67-74.
This study tested the psychometric characteristics of the Body Morph Assessment version 2.0 (BMA 2.0). A sample of 563 adults composed of four groups classified by gender and ethnicity (Caucasian men and women and African-American men and women) were studied. Support for the internal consistency and test–retest reliability of the BMA 2.0 was found for both men and women. A study of convergent validity was conducted. The BMA 2.0 was found to have adequate reliability and validity. Norms were established for the BMA 2.0 estimates of current body size (CBS), ideal body size (IBS), and acceptable body size (ABS) for Caucasian and African-American men and women. In summary, the BMA 2.0 is a reliable and valid computerized measure of CBS, IBS, ABS, the CBS–IBS discrepancy (body dissatisfaction), and provides an estimate of over/underestimation of body size as compared to individuals of the same sex and body mass index.
doi:10.1016/j.bodyim.2009.01.006
PMCID: PMC2743122  PMID: 19244002
Body image; Eating disorders; Obesity; Morph; Body image assessment
5.  A novel method to remotely measure food intake of free-living people in real-time 
The British journal of nutrition  2008;101(3):446-456.
The aim of this study was to report the first reliability and validity tests of the Remote Food Photography Method (RFPM), which consists of camera-enabled cell phones with data transfer capability. Participants take and transmit photographs of food selection and plate waste to researchers/clinicians for analysis. Following two pilot studies, adult participants (N=52, 20≤BMI≤35) were randomly assigned to the dine-in or take-out group. Energy intake (EI) was measured for three days. The dine-in group ate lunch and dinner in the laboratory. The take-out group ate lunch in the laboratory and dinner in free-living conditions (participants received a cooler with pre-weighed food that they returned the following morning). Energy intake was measured with the RFPM and by directly weighing foods. The RFPM was tested in laboratory and free-living conditions. Reliability was tested over three days and validity was tested by comparing directly weighed EI to EI estimated with the RFPM using Bland-Altman analysis. The RFPM produced reliable EI estimates over three days in laboratory (r=.62, p<.0001) and free-living (r=.68, p<.0001) conditions. Weighed EI correlated highly with EI estimated with the RFPM in laboratory and free-living conditions (r’s>.93, p<.0001). In two laboratory-based validity tests, the RFPM underestimated EI by -4.7% (p=.046) and -5.5% (p=.076). In free-living conditions, the RFPM underestimated EI by -6.6% (p=.017). Bias did not differ by body weight or age. The RFPM is a promising new method for accurately measuring the EI of free-living people. Error associated with the method is small compared to self-report methods.
doi:10.1017/S0007114508027438
PMCID: PMC2626133  PMID: 18616837
digital photography; food intake; energy intake; measurement; self-report
6.  Development of an Internet/Population-Based Weight Management Program for the U.S. Army 
A significant number of Army soldiers are sufficiently overweight to exceed the maximum weight allowances defined by the Army weight control program (AR600-9). Also, the body weights of a substantial number of soldiers approach the maximum weight allowances. These soldiers should not gain additional weight if they are to meet Army weight allowances. The conventional approach to this overweight problem is assigning soldiers to remedial physical training and mandatory referral for nutrition counseling by a health care provider. An alternative to this conventional approach is to target the entire population of soldiers (population-based intervention) to promote weight loss in overweight soldiers and weight gain prevention in soldiers who are approaching overweight status. To accomplish this objective, the Healthy Eating, Activity, and Lifestyle Training Headquarters (H.E.A.L.T.H.) program was developed. This article describes the rationale for developing the program, the components of the program, and the utilization promotion strategies of the program. The H.E.A.L.T.H. program includes two primary components: (1) a Web site tailored to the standards established in Field Manual 21-20, Physical Fitness Training, Army physical fitness test, and AR600-9, the army weight control program, and (2) a health promotion program designed to promote awareness of the H.E.A.L.T.H. Web site and to facilitate use of the Web site by soldiers and their family members. The Web site is equipped with personalized planning tools and progress tracking over time related to fitness, caloric intake, and lifestyle behavior change goals. The health promotion program includes media advertisements and “ground roots” efforts to facilitate use by soldiers.
PMCID: PMC2769719  PMID: 19885186
AR600-9; Army; Army weight control program; Department of Defense; Internet intervention; obesity prevention; population-based approach; soldiers; weight management

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