Sharing digital self-monitoring data with others to enhance long-term weight loss: A randomized controlled trial

Nicole A. Miller, Marny M. Ehmann, Charlotte J. Hagerman, Evan M. Forman, Danielle Arigo, Bonnie Spring, Erica M. LaFata, Fengqing Zhang, Brandy Joe Milliron, Meghan L. Butryn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Participants in behavioral weight loss (BWL) programs increasingly use digital tools to self-monitor weight, physical activity, and dietary intake. Data collected with these tools can be systematically shared with other parties in ways that might support behavior change. Methods: Adults age 18 to 70 with overweight/obesity (BMI 27–50 kg/m2) will enroll in a remotely delivered, 24-month BWL program designed to produce and maintain a 10% weight loss. Participants will be asked to use a wireless body weight scale, wearable activity sensor, and dietary intake app daily. All participants will receive individual and group counseling, engage in text messaging with members of their group, and appoint a friend or family member to serve in a support role. A 2x2x2 factorial design will test the effects of three types of data sharing partnerships: 1) Coach Share: The behavioral coach will regularly view digital self-monitoring data and address data observations. 2) Group Share: Participants will view each other's self-monitoring data in small-group text messages. 3) Friend/Family Share: A friend or family member will view the participant's data via automated message. The primary outcome is weight loss at 24 months. Mediators and moderators of intervention effects will be tested. Conclusion: This study will provide a clear indication of whether data sharing can improve long-term weight loss. This study will be the first to discern the mechanisms of action through which each type of data sharing may be beneficial, and elucidate conditions under which the benefits of data sharing may be maximized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107201
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Data sharing
  • Digital self-monitoring
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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