Enrollment to open for an interactive study aims to help people build habits for a healthier lifestyle, lose weight and keep it off.

Could a text message motivate people to track their food and drink and, as a result, lose weight? 

An interactive study at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health is looking to answer that question and needs help from the public.

Log2Lose, an 18-month research study, aims to help people build habits for a healthier lifestyle, lose weight and keep it off, is open for enrollment Jan. 19.  

Losing weight and maintaining weight loss can be a life-long challenge for millions of people. Often around mid-January people are starting to struggle with New Year’s resolutions about weight loss, so the timing for enrolling the next group is ideal, according to Dr. Corrine Voils, professor of surgery, UW School of Medicine and Public Health, and lead researcher.

“Our study team is interested in finding solutions that help people successfully lose weight and keep it off for life,” said Voils. “Losing weight, and keeping that weight off, often leads to improved health, less pain, and more energy. We want people to experience these health benefits long term.”

Trial participants will be encouraged to log their food in a cell phone app and weigh themselves regularly with a wireless scale provided by the study. Participants will receive motivational texts messages, participate in surveys, and have their weight and blood pressure measured every six months.

In addition, participants will receive a well-researched weight management program that focuses on developing health habits and is led by registered dietitians. Participants will attend online group classes and receive one-on-one phone calls to receive personalized support and feedback.

 The study is not testing a strict diet. Instead, the research team is interested in understanding how weighing regularly and logging food impacts a person’s ability to lose weight and keep that weight off, according to Voils.

“We do not teach a ‘diet’ or limit any specific food or food group,” said Voils. “Two strong predictors of long-term weight loss are tracking what we eat and drink and initial weight loss, so we are conducting this study to evaluate whether different text messages motivate people to track their food and drink and lose weight.”

Person looking at a cell phone

According to Voils, weight loss, and maintenance of weight loss, can do the following:

  • Lower high blood pressure
  • Reduce joint pain
  • Cut your chances of cancer
  • Prevent Type 2 diabetes
  • Promote good cholesterol
  • Stop sleep apnea
  • Improve diabetes management for those who have diabetes
  • Enhance mood

This study started in September 2021, and this will be the second group to enroll. Study leaders are hoping to enroll 350 participants from the Madison area. The first enrollment visit egins February 1, 2022, with the weight management program kicking off the week of April 4.

Duke University is also part of this study.

To learn more email log2lose@surgery.wisc.edu or call (608) 265-8758.