OBJECTIVE. This study examined the efficacy of an Internet-facilitated intervention for weight maintenance and binge eating in adolescents.
METHODS. A total of 105 adolescent male and female high school students at risk for overweight (mean age: 15.1 ± 1.0 years) were randomly assigned to a 16-week online intervention, StudentBodies2-BED (n = 52), or the wait-list control group (n = 53).
RESULTS. Participants in the StudentBodies2-BED group had significantly lower BMI z scores and BMI from baseline assessment to follow-up assessment, compared with the wait-list control group. In addition, significant reductions in objective binge episodes and subjective binge episodes from baseline assessment to posttreatment assessment and from baseline assessment to follow-up assessment were observed among StudentBodies2-BED participants. The StudentBodies2-BED group also reported significantly reduced weight and shape concerns from posttreatment assessment to follow-up assessment and from baseline assessment to follow-up assessment. Participants in the StudentBodies2-BED group who engaged in objective overeating or binge eating episodes at baseline assessment experienced a significantly greater reduction in BMI at follow-up assessment, compared with the wait-list control group.
CONCLUSIONS. Results suggest that an Internet-facilitated intervention is moderately effective in short-term weight loss and weight maintenance and yields a large reduction in binge eating. This study also demonstrates that weight management and reduction of eating disorder psychopathological features can be achieved simultaneously by using an easily disseminated, Internet-facilitated program.