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 Autonomous Agriculture in 2045?
15.11.2019 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Experimentelles Software Engineering IESE

nachricht What and how much we eat might change our internal clocks and hormone responses
07.11.2019 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

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: New opportunities in additive manufacturing presented

Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden demonstrates manufacturing of copper components

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden has succeeded in using Selective Electron Beam Melting (SEBM) to...

Im Focus: New Pitt research finds carbon nanotubes show a love/hate relationship with water

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are valuable for a wide variety of applications. Made of graphene sheets rolled into tubes 10,000 times smaller than a human hair, CNTs have an exceptional strength-to-mass ratio and excellent thermal and electrical properties. These features make them ideal for a range of applications, including supercapacitors, interconnects, adhesives, particle trapping and structural color.

New research reveals even more potential for CNTs: as a coating, they can both repel and hold water in place, a useful property for applications like printing,...

Im Focus: Magnets for the second dimension

If you've ever tried to put several really strong, small cube magnets right next to each other on a magnetic board, you'll know that you just can't do it. What happens is that the magnets always arrange themselves in a column sticking out vertically from the magnetic board. Moreover, it's almost impossible to join several rows of these magnets together to form a flat surface. That's because magnets are dipolar. Equal poles repel each other, with the north pole of one magnet always attaching itself to the south pole of another and vice versa. This explains why they form a column with all the magnets aligned the same way.

Now, scientists at ETH Zurich have managed to create magnetic building blocks in the shape of cubes that - for the first time ever - can be joined together to...

Im Focus: A new quantum data classification protocol brings us nearer to a future 'quantum internet'

The algorithm represents a first step in the automated learning of quantum information networks

Quantum-based communication and computation technologies promise unprecedented applications, such as unconditionally secure communications, ultra-precise...

Im Focus: Distorted Atoms

In two experiments performed at the free-electron laser FLASH in Hamburg a cooperation led by physicists from the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Nuclear physics (MPIK) demonstrated strongly-driven nonlinear interaction of ultrashort extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) laser pulses with atoms and ions. The powerful excitation of an electron pair in helium was found to compete with the ultrafast decay, which temporarily may even lead to population inversion. Resonant transitions in doubly charged neon ions were shifted in energy, and observed by XUV-XUV pump-probe transient absorption spectroscopy.

An international team led by physicists from the MPIK reports on new results for efficient two-electron excitations in helium driven by strong and ultrashort...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

First International Conference on Agrophotovoltaics in August 2020

15.11.2019 | Event News

Laser Symposium on Electromobility in Aachen: trends for the mobility revolution

15.11.2019 | Event News

High entropy alloys for hot turbines and tireless metal-forming presses

05.11.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

First International Conference on Agrophotovoltaics in August 2020

15.11.2019 | Event News

Laser Symposium on Electromobility in Aachen: trends for the mobility revolution

15.11.2019 | Event News

Observing changes in the chirality of molecules in real time

15.11.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>