Best program to loss weight

Researchers at MRC Human Nutrition Research, in Cambridge, UK, compared weight loss with standard treatment in primary care to a commercial provider.

First, the details.

  • 772 overweight and obese adults were randomly assigned by a primary healthcare professional to a weight loss program for 12 months.
    • Standard care as defined by national treatment guidelines: regular weighing, advice about diet and physical activity, motivation, and group support
    • Free membership to a commercial program (Weight Watchers)
  • The main outcome was weight change over 12 months.

And, the results.

  • 61% of participants assigned to the commercial program completed the 12-month study vs 54% with Weight Watchers.
  • Participants in the commercial program group lost more weight vs the standard care group.
    • Average weight change at 12 months was -5.06 kg (-11 lb) for those in the commercial program vs -2.25 kg (-5 lb) with standard care.
  • Participants reported no adverse events related to trial participation.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Referral by a primary healthcare professional to a commercial weight loss program… can offer a clinically useful early intervention for weight management in overweight and obese people that can be delivered at large scale.”

Both approaches resulted in weight loss. The biggest challenge for successful weight loss is sticking with the program for at least a year.

Weight Watchers International supported the study through a grant to the UK Medical Research Council.

12/27/11 20:50 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.