Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Monthly personal counseling helps maintain weight loss

13.03.2008
In the largest and longest study to date of weight loss maintenance strategies, researchers at Duke University Medical Center found that personal contact – and, to a lesser extent, a computer-based support system – were helpful in keeping weight off.

The results of the study appear in the March 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“The results of this study send a strong signal to those who seem to believe that obesity is such an intractable problem that nothing can be done about it,” says Dr. Laura Svetkey, professor of medicine at Duke and the lead author of the study. “Our research shows that is not true. A large majority of the participants in the Weight Loss Management study lost weight and kept weight off for two and one-half years.”

Svetkey and researchers at four institutions around the country studied 1685 overweight or obese adults who were being treated for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or both. Scientists asked participants to increase their activity level, reduce their calorie intake and follow the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) for a period of six months. The DASH diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and whole grains, and has been proven to lower “bad” cholesterol and blood pressure.

In the first phase of the study, participants attended 20 weekly group meetings with a trained interventionist who coached them on making these lifestyle changes. Only participants who lost at least nine pounds were admitted to a second phase of the study; 61 percent met that goal, with weight loss ranging from nine to 66 pounds.

In the second phase, 1032 participants were randomized to one of three groups: a self-directed control group, where they were left to their own devices to manage their weight; a personal contact group, where they received monthly coaching and support from a counselor assigned to them; or a computer-based, weight loss maintenance program that offered the same counseling that personal contact offered, but in a virtual, interactive format.

More than 70 percent of the participants weighed less at the end of the study than when they started. Those in the personal contact group were the most successful, with 77 percent maintaining some weight loss. The computer intervention group had a 69 percent success rate and the self-directed group had 67 percent.

“In addition, 42 percent of the personal contact group was able to maintain weight loss of at least 5 percent of their starting weight, an amount of weight loss that has clear health benefits,” Svetkey said. “In the other groups, about 35 percent were able to maintain this much weight loss.”

Overall, however, the effects of the interventions were modest. At the end of the study, the personal contact group had regained 3.3 pounds less than the self-directed group. Those in the computer-based support program fared almost as well – at least for the first two years. After that point, the virtual intervention lost its edge, and by the end of the study, their efforts at maintaining weight loss were similar to those enrolled in the self-directed control group.

But Svetkey, director of clinical research at the Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center at Duke, points out that even modest success paves the way to major victory.

“We didn’t set out to cure obesity, but we did want to offer participants a set of tools they could use to change their lives,” Svetkey said. It’s not easy to counteract all the forces around us that encourage us to overeat and be sedentary, but we think this study moves us in the right direction.”

Svetkey stresses that every pound lost can lower blood pressure and risk of developing diabetes. “Our patients have shown that under the right conditions, long-term weight control is an achievable goal worth pursuing,” says Svetkey. “It’s also important to understand that it’s not necessary to reach a normal weight to improve your health. The focus needs to be on changing a lifestyle and sticking to it. Every pound lost improves health.”

Michelle Gailiun | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.duke.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Optical Nanoscope Allows Imaging of Quantum Dots

Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.

Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rutgers scientists discover 'Legos of life'

23.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Seabed mining could destroy ecosystems

23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Transportable laser

23.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>