Background. Internet-based complex interventions aiming to promote weight loss and optimize healthy behaviors have attracted much attention. However, evidence for effect is lacking. Obesity is a growing problem, resulting in an increasing demand for cost efficient weight loss programs suitable for use on a large scale, for example, as part of standard primary care. In a previous pilot project by Brandt et al. (2011) without a control group, we examined the effects of online dietician counseling and found an average weight loss of 7.0 kg (95% CI: 4.6 to 9.3 kg) after 20 months. Aims and Methods. To analyze the effects of a complex intervention using trained dieticians in a general practice setting combined with internet-based interactive and personalized weight management support compared with conventional advice with a noninteractive internet support as placebo treatment in 340 overweight patients during a 2-year period. Primary endpoints are weight loss and lowering of cholesterol (LDL). We will also explore patients' sociodemographics and use of the intervention as well as the health professionals' views and perceptions of the intervention (their role and the advice and support that they provide). Perspective. The project will generate knowledge on the cost-effectiveness of a complex internet-based intervention in a general practice setting and on barriers and acceptability among professionals and patients.
International Journal of Family Medicine, 2014, Vol 2014