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A study from the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition at the University of Kansas Medical Center compared weight loss and maintenance between a face-to-face weight management clinic and a clinic delivered via virtual reality in Second Life. The researchers conclude that virtual reality compares favourably with face-to-face for weight loss and may facilitate greater weight maintenance. Here is the abstract of the article that was published in Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, Volume 45, Issue 3 , Pages 264-268, May 2013.
Compare weight loss and maintenance between a face-to-face (FTF) weight management clinic and a clinic delivered via virtual reality (VR).
Participants were randomized to 3 months of weight loss with a weekly clinic delivered via FTF or VR and then 6 months’ weight maintenance delivered with VR. Data were collected at baseline and 3 and 6 months for weight and process variables. Twenty overweight and obese individuals (31.1 ± 3.6 years of age; body mass index, 32.8 ± 5.1; 85% females; 20% minorities) responded to advertisement and met inclusion criteria. Diets (1,200–1,800 kcal/d) used prepackaged meals, fruits and vegetables, and physical activity (300 min/wk).
Conclusions and Implications
Virtual reality compares favorably with FTF for weight loss and may facilitate greater weight maintenance.
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