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Given the epidemic of obesity, approaches to weight loss that can be applied on a community, state, or national level are needed. We report results from Shape Up Rhode Island 2007 (SURI), a state-wide Internet based program involving team-based competition to increase physical activity and achieve weight loss. A total of 4,717 adults (84% female; mean BMI = 29.6 kg/m2 ) enrolled in the 16 week weight loss competition of SURI and 3311 completed at least 12 weeks. Completers reported losing 3.2 ± 3.4 kg, and 30% achieved a clinically significant weight loss of 5% or more. Although modest, these weight losses shifted the BMI distribution from a mean BMI of 29.4 to 28.2 kg/m2 and reduced the population that was obese from 39% to 31%. More conservative intent-to-treat analyses and analysis of 132 participants with objective weights still showed a significant reduction in BMI of −0.8 units. These findings suggest that state-wide weight loss campaigns can produce modest weight losses in large numbers of participants. These data provide a bench-mark that can be used for comparisons with other state-wide campaigns. Research on ways to improve such campaigns is needed.

Available for download on Wednesday, October 14, 2020