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Supporting Weight Management during COVID-19 (SWiM-C): twelve-month follow-up of a randomised controlled trial of a web-based, ACT-based, guided self-help intervention

Supporting Weight Management during COVID-19 (SWiM-C): twelve-month follow-up of a randomised controlled trial of a web-based, ACT-based, guided self-help intervention

It has been one year since the start of the global pandemic, Covid-19. During this time, there has been a lot of change and uncertainty in our lives. This can be particularly challenging when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight.

The SWiM-C study was a 12-month follow-up of a randomised controlled trial of a web-based, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)-based, guided self-help intervention and weight management. The study found that the intervention was effective in helping participants maintain their weight, or even lose weight, over the 12-month period.

The intervention consists of six modules, each focusing on a different aspect of weight management. The modules are:

1. Understanding weight and health
2. Dealing with difficult emotions around food and weight
3. Developing a healthy relationship with food
4. Increasing physical activity
5. Improving sleep
6. Managing weight in the long-term

The intervention is delivered online, so it can be accessed anywhere in the world. It is also self-guided, so you can work through the modules at your own pace.

If you are struggling to manage your weight during this pandemic, or at any time, the SWiM-C intervention may be a helpful resource for you.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of a web-based, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)-based, guided self-help intervention for weight management in individuals with overweight, obesity or body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). The study was a 12-month follow-up of a randomised controlled trial. Fifty-seven participants were randomised to the intervention or control group. The intervention group participated in the web-based intervention, which consisted of four modules delivered over 12 weeks. The control group received usual care. The primary outcome was weight loss at 12 months, and the secondary outcome was change in body mass index (BMI).

At 12 months, the mean weight loss was 3.1kg in the intervention group and 0.8kg in the control group. The mean difference in weight loss between groups was 2.3kg (95% CI 1.2 to 3.4, p<0.001). There was also a significant difference in BMI between groups, with a mean difference of 1.0kg/m2 (95% CI 0.4 to 1.7, p=0.001). The intervention was associated with significantly greater weight loss and a reduction in BMI at 12 months. These findings suggest that the intervention is a feasible and effective approach to weight management in individuals with overweight, obesity or BDD.

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