Condition category
Nutritional, Metabolic, Endocrine
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Prospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
There are a range of programmes that help people to lose weight, however most people tend to put weight back on. We need to find simple strategies that we can give to the public to help them maintain their weight, that are also cost effective. One simple strategy may be to ask people to weigh themselves on a daily basis to identify changes in their weight. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of a brief intervention focused on self-weighing on weight change compared to a usual care group.

Who can participate?
Only people that have taken part in the Birmingham Lighten Up weight loss service, have been weighed at least once during weeks 9-12 of the 12 weeks and have lost at least 5% of their starting weight at the end of their weight loss programme. They must be 18 years or more and own a mobile phone or landline phone that can receive SMS text messages.

What does the study involve?
Participants will be randomly allocated to one of two groups: usual care group or intervention group. The usual care group will receive a hints and tips leaflet about weight maintenance behaviours. The intervention group will receive the same hints and tips leaflets, weighing scales, and will also receive support telephone calls at weeks zero, two and four, that encourage daily self-weighing, together with reminder text messages every other day for the first four weeks, reducing to twice weekly thereafter. Both groups will be weighed at the start f the study, three and 12 months and asked to complete brief questionnaires.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
We cannot promise that participants will maintain weight loss, but similar programmes have helped people in the past. We do not predict any risks or side-effects from the weight maintenance programmes offered in this study. Should participants become pregnant during the study they should no longer take part in the study.

Where is the study run from?
The study is run from the University of Birmingham in partnership

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
April 2014 to March 2017

Who is funding the study?
National Institute for Health Research (UK)

Who is the main contact?
Dr Amanda Daley

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Dr Amanda Daley


Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number

Protocol 1

Study information

Scientific title

Lighten Up weight maintenance study: a randomised controlled trial



Study hypothesis

The primary aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of a brief behavioural intervention delivered by non specialist staff to promote regular self weighing to prevent weight regain after intentional weight loss. The intervention will be compared with usual care.

Ethics approval

University of Birmingham

Study design

Randomised controlled trial

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details to request a patient information sheet


Weight management


Usual care group
The usual care group will receive the standard Lighten Up maintenance leaflet sent to their home address. The leaflet is very brief with some advice prepared by NHS Birmingham. It mostly consists of a series of bullet points. Other than for follow up, there will be no other contact with the usual care group.

Intervention group
Participants will receive a set of weighing scales and instructed to weigh themselves daily and record it on the record card provided. Participants will also receive three follow-up calls at zero, two and four weeks to encourage self-weighing. They will also receive reminder text messages every other day for the first four weeks, reducing to twice weekly thereafter

Intervention type



Drug names

Primary outcome measure

Mean weight change at 12 months follow up.

Secondary outcome measures

1. The proportion of participants in the intervention and usual care groups who regain less than 1 kg from their weight at the end of the weight loss programme at three and 12 month follow up.
2. Mean weight change at three months (post maintenance intervention) follow up.
3. The cost to the NHS per kg, and per kg/m2, of the additional weight loss maintained for the intervention compared to usual care at 12 months, the cost per quality adjusted life years (QALY) during the intervention period and cost per predicted lifetime QALYs gained.
4. The occurrence of adverse effects including uncontrolled eating, emotional eating and weight preoccupation.

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

1. Aged 18 years or more.
2. People who have attended and therefore been weighed at their Lighten Up weight loss programme at least once during weeks 9-12 of the 12 week programme.
3. People who have lost at least 5% of their starting weight at the end of their weight loss programme. This can be later verified objectively as all participants are weighed by service providers at the start and end of their weight loss programme.
4. Own a mobile phone or landline phone that can receive SMS text messages.

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants

560 participants

Participant exclusion criteria

1. Unable to understand English
2. Women who are known to be pregnant or intending to become pregnant during the study

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Sponsor information


University of Birmingham (UK)

Sponsor details

B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

Public Health Research Programme Reference: 12/179/09

Alternative name(s)

NIHR Public Health Research Programme, PHR

Funding Body Type

government organisation

Funding Body Subtype

Federal/National Government


United Kingdom

Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

2015 protocol in:

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

11/12/2018: No publications found, verifying study status with principal investigator. 13/01/2016: Publication reference added.