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American Heart Association Meeting Report
Date:3/13/2008

Study shows long-term weight control is achievable

Abstract 34

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., March 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- People who shed weight and want to keep it off might benefit from monthly personal contact interventions, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's Conference on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism.

Results of the study will also be simultaneously published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In a test of three ways that might help people maintain weight loss, those who received monthly personal counseling were best at keeping off unwanted pounds. Overall, 42 percent of the study members maintained at least a 4-kilogram (9-pound) weight loss for 30 months.

"We know how to help people lose weight in a healthy way, but we know very little about how to help them to keep the weight off," said Laura P. Svetkey, M.D, lead author of the study and professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. "This study is the longest and largest to test strategies for long-term weight loss maintenance, and it suggests that long-term weight control is an achievable goal.

"The United States is in the midst of an obesity epidemic, one that portends serious future health consequences. Overweight and obesity are the leading cause of high blood pressure, diabetes and abnormal cholesterol, which are leading causes of cardiovascular disease, which is, in turn, the leading cause of death in this country," Svetkey said. "So if we really want to get to the root causes of these disorders, we need to address the obesity epidemic."

Despite the importance of obesity control, few studies have tested strategies to maintain weight loss over long periods.

Svetkey and her colleagues enrolled 1,685 participants in the two-phase Weight Loss Maintenance trial, which was conducted at four clinical centers in the United States.

Phase I consi
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SOURCE American Heart Association
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