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Science & Technology

Central Coast Professor Creates Online Program To Help Low-Income Mothers Lose Weight

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Photo by Fit Moms
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A Central Coast professor helped create an online weight loss program that has led to significant weight loss for low-income mothers following their pregnancies.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Kinesiology professor Suzanne Phelan says it’s especially important to help low-income women lose weight postpartum.

“They lack access to effective empirical-based weight loss programs and low-income women are at high risk for long-term weight gain and associated comorbidities,” she said.

So, she and a colleague designed an internet-based weight loss program called Fit Moms that includes weekly lessons, instructional videos, a web diary, text messages and monthly-face-to-face groups.

“We promoted an increase in the percentage of women who returned to their pre-pregnancy weight, which is really exciting.”

In fact, 33% of the women who participated returned to their pre-pregnancy weight compared 19% who didn’t participate.

The hope is that Fit Moms will be incorporated into a federal assistance program.