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Randomised controlled trial
Internet-based programmes on weight loss appear to be effective for low-income postpartum women
  1. Linda Anne Gilmore,
  2. Leanne M Redman
  1. Division of Clinical Sciences, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Leanne M Redman, Division of Clinical Sciences, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70808, USA; leanne.redman{at}

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Commentary on: Phelan S, Hagobian T, Brannen A, et al. Effect of an internet-based program on weight loss for low-income postpartum women: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA 2017;317:2381–91.

Implications for practice and research

  • Clinicians should focus on recommendations to reduce energy intake with improved diet quality when weight loss is the goal. Advocating physical activity alone for weight loss is unsuccessful and often results in discouragement.

  • There is a valuable role for e-health interventions in populations difficult to reach.

  • Similar studies should be carried out in other low-income groups with different race and ethnicity distributions.


Postpartum weight retention (PPWR) is prevalent: 20% of women retain at least 11 pounds, 6–18 months postpartum.1 Retaining weight after pregnancy leads to health risks and complications for future pregnancies. The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) programme provides service for approximately 15% of all pregnancies in …

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  • Competing interests LMR is an inventor of mathematical models that estimate energy intake and weight change in response to interventions that alter energy balance. LMR has previously collaborated with Dr Suzanne Phelan who is the primary author of the paper being reviewed.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.