Research: Commercial Weight Loss May Be Superior

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Commercial Weight Loss May Be Superior Primary Care Directed Plans.  

Diet Computer Keys

Diet Computer Keys

I know this is a no brainer.  Primary care managers do not have the time nor is it the right focus for intensive behavioral interaction.  It is the ideal to bring up the concerns, but the follow through is better in a different venue.  

So what is the study? The study is from Lancet and was published in June of 2017[1].  The participants were randomly assigned to brief advice from a primary care provider and self-help materials, a 12-week weight management program, and a 52-week weight management program.  The study looked at 823 participants that completed an assessment at one year, and 856 completed an assessment at two years.  The mean weight changes among the groups were -3.26 kg in the brief intervention group, -4.75 kg in the 12-week program group, and -6.76 kg in the 52-week program group.  The big thing found was that the differences among the groups were still significant at two years and participants in the 52-week program had the greatest reductions in waist circumference and fat mass, as well as HbA1c and fasting plasma glucose concentrations.

The bottom line: A referral to this commercial open-group behavioral weight-loss program increases weight loss relative to a brief intervention in primary care, and longer weight loss programs result in improved indicators of a reduction in insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.  More research is needed, but this is promising.  

[1]Ahern et al., “Extended and Standard Duration Weight-Loss Programme Referrals for Adults in Primary Care (WRAP): A Randomised Controlled Trial.”
Ahern, AL, GM Wheeler, P Aveyard, EJ Boyland, JCG Halford, AP Mander, J Woolston, et al. “Extended and Standard Duration Weight-Loss Programme Referrals for Adults in Primary Care (WRAP): A Randomised Controlled Trial.” Lancet (London, England) 389, no. 10085 (June 3, 2017): 2214–25. [PubMed]
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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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