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Put in those ear buds and watch the scale numbers go down

September 16, 2009 |  1:25 pm

Successful weight loss may be just a podcast away.

But what's on that podcast could make the difference between losing a modest amount of weight and losing next to none, according to a new study out of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Researchers used two different types of podcasts--audio files that can be downloaded into an MP3 player or computer--to see which was more effective at helping 78 overweight and obese men and women shed pounds over 12 weeks.

Jwm1tqnc The study participants were randomly divided into two groups. The control group listened to a popular weight loss podcast currently on the market, and the study group listened to a weight loss podcast designed by the researchers and based on social cognitive theory, the belief that some learning can come from emulating the behavior of those we want to emulate. The control podcast focused on making cognitive changes to combat overeating and included ideas such as positive thinking to alter one's body image.

The other "enhanced" podcast told participants what to expect from trying to lose weight and offered nutrition and exercise information that stressed the importance of achieving a healthy weight. The men and women in this group also tuned in to hear the audio journal of someone else trying to lose weight, but who was a week or two ahead of the study participants in terms of progress. This gave them someone on whom they could model their behavior.

After three months, the study group lost an average 6.4 pounds and one point in their body mass index. The control group lost an average of 0.7 pounds and lost 0.1 BMI point. The study group also ate more fruits and vegetables than the control group. Although both groups reported about the same amount of moderate exercise, the study group reported more vigorous activity. The study group also scored higher in weight loss knowledge scores.

Researchers believe such podcasts could be an inexpensive tool in the arsenal to combat obesity. One study participant said the podcasts were "fundamental in producing what I believe is a permanent change in my lifestyle," according to a news release.

The study appears online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

-- Jeannine Stein

 Photo credit: Ian Waldie / Getty Images

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Comments (5)

If the researchers really want to help people, and they are convinced that the podcasts work, then they should release them and let other people use them.

- Ryan Nagy

You did not give enough information for someone to find and read the study. Do you want to make a difference in the world or are you just an entertainer?

- Ryan Nagy

where do you get these tapes??? they sound interesting.

This study helps support my own approach to coaching myself to change my lifestyle in order to lose weight, improve fitness, and reduce the risks of choice diseases or catatrosphric medical events. Before you dismiss me as just some other person trying to profit from the weight loss industry, I must reveal that a little over a year ago I was nearly one hundred pounds heavier than I am today. My physical health has improved greatly, not from just having positive thoughts, but I am healthier because I took positive steps to make better choices. My success has led me to develop a model called "Making Sense" that healps people "Kiss Ineffective Nutrition Good-bye". I have developed new habits by increasing my knowlegde of nutrition benefits of whole foods, by incorportating prayer and reflection, by walking my dog for moderate daily exercise, reducing refined sugar and consumption of processed foods. I am now planning to coach others on the practical steps to take while being followed by their physician to achieve lasting freedom from fat thinking.

Was this the whole article? Didn't get anything worth-while from this piece, though it sounded interesting via the headline.



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