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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Effectiveness of a weight loss program in community-cased primary care offices: High-intensity intervention versus low-intensity intervention)

item Hass, William
item Kaplan, Michael
item Johnston, Craig
item Foreyt, John
item Ravussin, Eric
item Moore, Justin

Submitted to: Annual Scientific Meeting NAASO, The Obesity Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/13/2012
Publication Date: 9/21/2012
Citation: Hass, W.C., Kaplan, M., Johnston, C.A., Foreyt, J.P., Ravussin, E., Moore, J.B. 2012. Effectiveness of a weight loss program in community-cased primary care offices: High-intensity intervention versus low-intensity intervention [abstract]. In: Proceedings of 30th Annual Scientific Meeting NAASO, The Obesity Society, September 20-24, 2012, San Antonio, Texas. p. s169-s170.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Despite the call for primary care providers (PCPs) to offer obese patients intense behavioral therapy for weight loss, few studies have examined the effectiveness of such interventions in real-world, community-based medical practices. This study evaluated the effectiveness of a physician-guided weight-loss program implemented in private medical offices over a 12-month period. In addition, the fidelity of program delivery was examined with respect to intervention intensity. Analyses were performed on chart review data from 550 obese patients who took part in a high-intensity (n = 236) or low-intensity weight-loss intervention (n = 314) at either a primary care or a weight loss clinic. High-intensity participants underwent physician-guided behavioral therapy sessions at least twice per month for the first three months, while low-intensity participants attended fewer than two sessions per month during the first three months. All patients were prescribed an energy-reduced diet supplemented by meal replacements. Among the 150 patients continuing care for 12 months, high-intensity participants (n = 102) achieved significantly greater reductions in body weight than low-intensity participants (n = 48) (15.1 kg vs. 11.0 kg). Moreover, the percentage of high- and low-intensity participants losing at least 5% of their body weight was 87.3% and 70.8%, respectively. Regardless of intervention intensity, participants lost an average of 12.8% of their initial body weight after 12 months. Primary care clinics and weight loss clinics were equally effective at delivery of treatment interventions. Primary care physicians can successfully treat obese patients using high- or low-intensity behavioral counseling coupled with meal replacement therapy.

Last Modified: 8/24/2016
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