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Kaiser Permanente Study Finds Keeping a Food Diary Doubles Diet Weight Loss
Date:7/8/2008

, which lasted 30 months and tested strategies for maintaining the weight loss.

"More than two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. If we all lost just nine pounds, like the majority of people in this study did, our nation would see vast decreases in hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and stroke," said study co-author Victor Stevens, Ph.D., a Kaiser Permanente researcher. For example, in an earlier study Stevens found that losing as little as five pounds can reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure by 20 percent.

The Kaiser Permanente Care Management Institute's Weight Management Initiative (http://www.kpcmi.org/weight-management/index.html) has recommended food journaling as a strategy for losing weight since 2002. The Weight Management Initiative unites clinicians, researchers, insurers, and policymakers to identify practical, effective, non-surgical approaches for the prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity.

"Keeping a food diary doesn't have to be a formal thing. Just the act of scribbling down what you eat on a Post-it note, sending yourself e-mails tallying each meal, or sending yourself a text message will suffice. It's the process of reflecting on what you eat that helps us become aware of our habits, and hopefully change our behavior," says Keith Bachman, MD, a Weight Management Initiative member. "Every day I hear patients say they can't lose weight. This study shows that most people can lose weight if they have the right tools and support. And food journaling in conjunction with a weight management program or class is the ideal combination of tools and support."

The study, coordinated by the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, also was conducted at Duke University Medical Center, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, and Johns Hopkins University. In addition to Hollis and Stevens,
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