Web-based intervention promotes weight loss among NAFLD patients
A web-based intervention (WBI) yields similar weight-loss benefits for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients as a traditional group-based intervention (GBI), a recent study has found.
The study included 716 consecutive NAFLD patients (mean age 51.6±12.8 years; 53.5 percent male; 33 percent with type 2 diabetes), of whom 438 received GBI meetings led by physicians, dietitians and psychologists. Those who could not attend GBIs were given a WBI (n=278), which involved interactive games, tests and online contact with the centre.
Participants in the WBI group showed a mean reduction of body mass index (BMI) by 3.4 percent at 6 months, 4.9 percent at 12 months and 5.5 percent at 24 months. The decline was statistically significant (p<0.001). Similar findings were reported for the GBI cohort (3.1 percent, 4.0 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively).
However, while BMI progressively dropped significantly in both groups, no significant between-group difference was observed (p=0.063).
Moreover, weight loss of >10 percent of the initial body weight at the 6-month follow-up was reported in 5 percent and 7 percent of the WBI and GBI groups, respectively. These proportions increased to 13 percent and 11 percent by month 12, and to 20 percent and 15 percent by month 24.
Attrition rates were also significantly higher in the WBI group. The number of cases continuously dropped to 76 percent, 58 percent and 43 percent at months 6, 12 and 24, respectively. In comparison, the corresponding retention rates in the GBI group were 87 percent, 80 percent and 69 percent (p<0.001).