Evidence-Based Digital Tools for Weight Loss Maintenance: The NoHoW Project

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialResearchpeer-review


  • R. James Stubbs
  • Cristiana Duarte
  • Antonio L. Palmeira
  • Falko F. Sniehotta
  • Graham Horgan
  • Sofus C. Larsen
  • Marta M. Marques
  • Elizabeth H. Evans
  • Miikka Ermes
  • Marja Harjumaa
  • Jake Turicchi
  • Ruari O'Driscoll
  • Sarah E. Scott
  • Beth Pearson
  • Lauren Ramsey
  • Elina Mattila
  • Marcela Matos
  • Paul Sacher
  • Euan Woodward
  • Marie-Louise Mikkelsen
  • Kirby Sainsbury
  • Ines Santos
  • Jorge Encantado
  • Carol Stalker
  • Pedro J. Teixeira

Background: Effective interventions and commercial programmes for weight loss (WL) are widely available, but most people regain weight. Few effective WL maintenance (WLM) solutions exist. The most promising evidence-based behaviour change techniques for WLM are self-monitoring, goal setting, action planning and control, building self-efficacy, and techniques that promote autonomous motivation (e.g., provide choice). Stress management and emotion regulation techniques show potential for prevention of relapse and weight regain. Digital technologies (including networked-wireless tracking technologies, online tools and smartphone apps, multimedia resources, and internet-based support) offer attractive tools for teaching and supporting long-term behaviour change techniques. However, many digital offerings for weight management tend not to include evidence-based content and the evidence base is still limited. The Project: First, the project examined why, when, and how many European citizens make WL and WLM attempts and how successful they are. Second, the project employed the most up-to-date behavioural science research to develop a digital toolkit for WLM based on 2 key conditions, i.e., self-management (self-regulation and motivation) of behaviour and self-management of emotional responses for WLM. Then, the NoHoW trial tested the efficacy of this digital toolkit in adults who achieved clinically significant (>= 5%) WL in the previous 12 months (initial BMI >= 25). The primary outcome was change in weight (kg) at 12 months from baseline. Secondary outcomes included biological, psychological, and behavioural moderators and mediators of long-term energy balance (EB) behaviours, and user experience, acceptability, and cost-effectiveness. Impact: The project will directly feed results from studies on European consumer behaviour, design and evaluation of digital toolkits self-management of EB behaviours into development of new products and services for WLM and digital health. The project has developed a framework and digital architecture for interventions in the context of EB tracking and will generate results that will help inform the next generation of personalised interventions for effective self-management of weight and health. (c) 2021 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel

Original languageEnglish
JournalObesity Facts
Pages (from-to)320–333
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • Emotion regulation, Information and communication technologies, Motivation, Obesity, Self-regulation, Weight loss maintenance, BEHAVIOR-CHANGE, ECONOMIC BURDEN, LOSS PROGRAMS, OBESITY, ADULTS, HEALTH, MASS

ID: 270543100