Research Publications


As you are most likely aware, one of the things that most sets Bright Line Eating® apart is its deep grounding in scientific research. Susan Peirce Thompson’s background is as a tenured psychology professor and her PhD is in Brain and Cognitive Sciences, a cutting-edge and highly interdisciplinary field. She is committed to regularly conveying important and relevant research findings to you, through the weekly vlog and other communications.

But we also conduct our own research. In fact, we have maintained a research program from the very beginning of BLE—and that program has grown and evolved over time. Today, Dr. Thompson and two other accomplished social scientists, Jeanne Hurlbert, PhD and Win Guan, PhD, lead that program. Together we gather data from all of the Bright Line Eating programs so we can document your journeys and celebrate your results.

On this page, we want to share those research results with you. After all, what we value most here at Bright Line Eating is YOU AND YOUR TRANSFORMATION. Below, you’ll find publications and presentations that describe the results that members of our wonderful community have achieved.

Please keep your eye out for new research!

With love,
The BLE Research Team

Monthly Research Participant Gift Card Winners

  • Mar 2021 – Ingrid T. (Alberta, Canada)
  • Feb 2021 – Danielle B. (ID, USA)
  • Jan 2021 – Susannah S. (CO, USA)
  • Dec 2020 – Sheila T. (OH, USA)
  • Nov 2020 – Katie T. (TX, USA)
  • Nov 2020 – Audalyn V. (MO, USA)
    Oct 2020 – Jo Lisa B. (FL, USA)
    Sep 2020 – Janeal H. (UT, USA)
    Aug 2020 – Katherine H. (ON, Canada)
  • Jul 2020 – Linda P. (CO, USA)
  • Jun 2020 – Kim T. (FL, USA)
  • May 2020 – Chris G. (AZ, USA)
  • Apr 2020 – Teresa S. (AZ, USA)
  • Mar 2020 – Becky J. (WI, USA)
  • Feb 2020 – Kassie B. (BC, Canada)
  • Jan 2020 – Kristin K. (CA, USA)
  • Dec 2019 – Rene N. (BC, Canada)
  • Nov 2019 – Laurie M. (ON, Canada)
    Oct 2019 – Cathy S. (MO, USA)
    Sep 2019 – Claudia B. (FL, USA)
    Aug 2019 – Marcy D.. (CO, USA)
  • Jul 2019 – Angela W. (ON, Canada)
  • Jun 2019 – LeeAnn T. (MS, USA)
  • May 2019 – Viola M. (CA, USA)
  • Apr 2019 – Mary G. (FL, USA)
  • Mar 2019 – Katie K. (BC, Canada)
  • Jan 2019 – Tara O. (AB, Canada)
  • Dec 2018 – Patricia S. (CA, USA)
  • Nov 2018 – Julie L. (MI, Canada)
    Oct 2018 – Elisabeth C. (NC, USA)
    Sep 2018 – Michelle A. (TX, USA)

Bright Line Eating: Evaluation of a Commercial Telehealth Weight Loss and Management Program

Published in the Journal of Nutrition and Weight Loss on November 16, 2018

Win Guan, PhD Andrew K. Thaw, PhD Sabrina N. Grondhuis Andi Schaechter

This study assesses the effectiveness of the Bright Line Eating Boot Camp (BLE: BC), an eight-week
telehealth weight management program.

Data come from participants in the BLE: BC research program. The final sample (n=5,374) contained primarily white adults (92.8%), females (95.2%), and individuals who reported high socioeconomic status (96.0% had completed at least some college and 47.4% reported an annual family income of at least $100,000). We focus in this manuscript on the primary outcomes of percent weight loss and change in body mass index from baseline. Secondary outcomes include program satisfaction and perceptions of healthy eating.

Approximately 95% of participants lost weight between baseline and completion of the BLE: BC. During the eight weeks, average percent weight loss was 7.8 (SD=7.5) and body mass index declined by an average of 2.6 (SD=2.3). Spearman’s correlation tests show that participants who reported expending more effort and participating more in the program reported greater percent weight loss (rs=0.39, p<0.001 and rs=0.34, p<0.001, respectively) and larger reduction in body mass index (rs=0.36, p<0.001 and rs=0.33, p<0.001, respectively). The majority of participants (88.6%) reported being satisfied with the program and 90.4% reported that healthy eating became easier.

The results of this study support the efficacy of the BLE: BC as a fully online, telehealth weight loss program. Future studies should assess the long-term weight loss and maintenance of BLE: BC participants and endeavor to specify mechanisms for the observed weight change. Although we acknowledge limitations in generalizability of the results due to the lack of a comparison group and selection bias in the sample, the results show clinically-significant weight loss among the majority of BLE: BC participants.

Bright Line Eating: Initial Phase Results From a Novel Telehealth Weight Management Program

Mark G. Goetting, MD Win Guan, PhD Andrew K. Thaw, PhD Susan Peirce Thompson, PhD
Published: November 13, 2018
The design of weight loss programs has been shown to significantly affect the weight maintenance phase by exacerbating, reducing, or delaying weight regain. There is a growing recognition of the addictive-like qualities of some processed foods. Bright Line Eating (BLE) is a convenient and affordable novel telehealth weight loss program based on a processed food addiction framework that provides comprehensive tools for lifetime weight maintenance including continuous live peer support via private online chat groups. The present study describes weight loss outcomes in the initiation phase of the BLE Boot Camp (BC) program, an 8 week on-line course providing comprehensive teaching and behavioral/emotional support.
Data are from the baseline and exit surveys of participants of the BLE:BC program. The sample (n=3,280) includes those who 1) were overweight or obese (BMI≥25) at baseline, 2) chose to participate in the BLE Research and 3) completed both surveys. This sample represents 16.2% those who enrolled in BLE:BC, 41.0% of those who enrolled in BLE Research, and 42.7% of those who completed a baseline survey. Percent weight loss (%WL) and body mass index (BMI) were calculated using self-reported weight and height from both surveys.
The sample contained mostly white women (95.3% female, 92.6% white). Women had a mean baseline weight and BMI of 91.2 kg (SD=18.6) and 34.1 (SD=7.0), respectively. Men had a mean baseline weight of 108.3 kg (SD=26.0) and BMI of 35.3 (SD=8.4). Over 95% of participants lost weight. Among those, participants averaged 9.0%WL (p<.001) and 3.1 decrease in BMI (p<.001). No significant differences were found for age, sex, or race.
BLE produces initial weight loss similar to other intensive programs. The convenience and affordability make it an attractive approach for those who may benefit from food addiction therapy or other intensive weight loss needs. Long term data are being analyzed.

Bright Line Eating: An Effective, Online Program for Sustained Weight Loss – P10-119

Thaw, A.K.
Thaw, C.J.
Published:  June 11, 2018

Obesity remains a pervasive preventable disease. Numerous weight loss options are available, however, few programs report even modest sustained weight loss. Here, we describe results from the Bright Line Eating program (BLE). BLE is a recently developed web-based weight loss program. The core principles of BLE consist of following clear, unambiguous boundaries referred to as bright lines. The four Bright Lines are: Sugar, Flour, Meals, and Quantities. Specifically, (1) no sugar consumption (2) no flour consumption, (3) eating 3 meals per day with no snacking, (4) weighing and measuring meals. BLE also contains a unique and comprehensive support mechanism based on 12-step programs.

Data from the BLE participant registry was analyzed to determine the effectiveness of the program to lead to sustained weight loss. Here we describe the findings from participants who have been voluntarily reporting their weight loss for up to two years while participating in the BLE program.
Results show a sustained significant weight loss that is maintained for greater than 12 months for 90% of program participants. This represents a dramatically high rate of sustainable weight loss. Subsequently, BMI and waist circumference were also reduced. The sustained weight loss is correlated with specific components of the BLE program. For example, 90% of the respondents indicated that eliminating processed sugar from their diet was integral to their success. Adherence (remaining active in the program) also showed a strong correlation with sustained weight loss (25 pounds versus 3 pounds sustained weight loss for those with high adherence versus low adherence respectively). Other possible factors such as age or gender do not seem to be affecting sustained weight loss.
Initial results from the BLE program provide evidence of sustainable weight loss. Further analysis of BLE data will aim to determine positive health effects related to the program.

Bright Line Eating: A Novel Web-based Weight Loss Program

Author: Thaw, A.K.
Published Online: The FASEB Journal. Vol. 31, No. 1 supplement.
Abstract Number: 796.14

Published:  April 1, 2017

Obesity continues to be one of the most prevalent preventable diseases affecting persons from all backgrounds and geographic regions. Numerous commercial or free weight loss programs are now available to consumers via web-based platforms. This paper describes a recently developed web-based weight loss and weight maintenance program designed with a unique and comprehensive support mechanism for participants. The Bright Line Eating program has been tailored to address a variety of issues related to excess food consumption, including such challenging behaviors as food addiction. The program consists of an 8-week long instructional period, combined with several levels of support in the form of information, food plans, behavior change, phone or internet based discussions, and recorded materials, to promote weight loss. The program is intentionally modifiable such that anyone may participate regardless of their specific goals. Results from 182 participants reveal a 20 pound weight loss over the 8 week instructional period. Analysis of the main programmatic tools provide insight into which aspects of this web-based program are most useful to participants. Specifically, support from the program (coaching calls, discussion groups with other participants and Bright Line Eating staff support) represented 3 of the top 5 most used tools. Follow up studies are underway to monitor the long term weight loss of participants.