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Study Led by UTHSC’s Karen C. Johnson, MD, Published in Obesity Journal

Dr. Karen C. Johnson

The TARGIT study led by Karen Johnson, MD, MPH, Endowed Professor of Women’s Health in the UTHSC Department of Preventive Medicine, is published as an Editor’s Choice in the October issue of Obesity Journal. The journal is a publication of the Obesity Society, a scientific society dedicated to the study of obesity and its treatment.

The study titled, “The Primary Results of the Treating Adult Smokers at Risk for Weight Gain with Interactive Technology (TARGIT) Study,” sought to determine whether a behavioral weight-management program combined with a stop-smoking program delivered through interactive technology could prevent weight gain after smoking cessation.

The study followed 330 young adult smokers for two years. The interactive technology consisted of the use of an iPod Touch, plus content delivered via podcasts, email, and text messages.

“Providing a weight-gain prevention program via interactive technology was not associated with less weight gain long-term in smokers,” Dr. Johnson said. “The good news is that among people in the weight-loss intervention group, those who quit smoking and were abstinent at the six-month time frame, gained a lot less weight over a 24-month period than the comparison group who quit smoking and were abstinent at six months.”

While the weight-loss intervention alone did not make a big difference, coupled with abstinence from smoking, it helped. “I think the positive message would be if you quit smoking, eating a healthy diet and increasing your physical activity can impact weight gain associated with quitting smoking, but you have to remain abstinent,” she said.

Read the study in the October issue of Obesity: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/oby.21968/full.