AHA: Notable Weight Loss With Remote, In-Person Support

Enhanced counseling with meal replacement, medication produces greater weight loss

TUESDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Remote and in-person weight-loss interventions and enhanced weight-loss counseling are associated with significant weight loss for obese participants, according to two studies published online Nov. 15 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with presentation at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2011, held from Nov. 12 to 16 in Orlando, Fla.

Lawrence J. Appel, M.D., M.P.H., from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues investigated the effectiveness of two weight-loss interventions, one delivered remotely through the telephone, a study-specific Web site, and e-mails, and another delivered through in-person sessions, in 415 obese patients with at least one cardiovascular risk-factor. Weight loss at two years was significantly greater in both intervention groups compared with the control group (self-directed weight loss). Weight loss of 5 percent or more occurred in 18.8, 38.2, and 41.4 percent of controls and those receiving remote and in-person support, respectively.

Thomas A. Wadden, Ph.D., from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues compared weight loss in 390 obese individuals with the usual care intervention (weight management education through quarterly primary care provider visits), brief lifestyle counseling (monthly instructions by lifestyle coaches), and enhanced brief lifestyle counseling (counseling plus meal replacements and weight-loss medications). After two years, participants had mean weight loss of 1.7, 2.9, and 4.7 kg, respectively; and 21.5, 26, and 34.9 percent, respectively, of participants lost at least 5 percent of their initial weight. Enhanced lifestyle counseling was significantly better on both measures

"Enhanced weight-loss counseling helps about one-third of obese patients achieve long-term, clinically meaningful weight loss," the authors write.

One of the study authors from the first study disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and publishing industries.

Abstract - Appel
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Abstract - Wadden
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