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Primary care-based weight intervention helps obese patients reduce weight
Date:11/14/2011

d an average starting weight of 237 lb, the average weight loss at two years was 3.7 lb with usual care, 6.4 lb with brief lifestyle counseling, and 10.1 lb with enhanced lifestyle counseling. Thirty-five percent of the enhanced lifestyle group lost 5 percent or more of their initial body weight, compared to 22 and 26 percent in the usual care and brief lifestyle groups, respectively.

The study was conducted at six primary care practices owned by Penn Medicine. Only one of the PCPs, and none of the medical assistants, had significant prior experience with weight management. They all received 6-8 hours of training and followed written treatment protocols during the study. The PCPs met with all patients quarterly, and devoted 5-7 minutes of the visit to providing information about weight control.

"We were pleased that PCPs, by just briefly discussing weight management at quarterly visits, could help one fifth of their obese patients in the usual care group lose 5 percent or more of initial weight, a marker of clinically significant weight loss," said Wadden.

The monthly lifestyle counseling sessions, conducted by medical assistants, began with a weigh-in, followed by an examination of participants' food and exercise diaries and the review of abbreviated lessons from the Diabetes Prevention Program, a previously developed intervention for diet and activity modification in overweight individuals. Participants in the enhanced lifestyle group also discussed their adherence to the meal replacements or weight loss medication. Participants chose between meal replacements and medications in consultation with their PCPs and were only allowed one option at a time (which they could switch with their PCP's agreement).


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Contact: Kim Menard
kim.menard@uphs.upenn.edu
215-662-6183
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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