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: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

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: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>