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Weight-loss proves effective cure for sleep apnea
Date:12/4/2009

researchers also noted that the effect of the weight loss programme was greatest in patients with severe sleep apnoea.

To achieve significant weight loss, the treatment group were put on a very low calorie diet (VLCD), which gave them an initial energy input of 554 kcal per day for seven weeks followed by a fortnight's successive increase up to 1,500 kcal per day at week nine. The control group maintained their normal dietary habits during the nine week study period, but was afterwards offered a VLCD programme.

After the VLCD period, the participants were also invited to take part in a year's behavioural change programme to help them maintain their weight loss.

"We often use VLCD in the form of a low calorie powder as part of the treatment of obese patients with a serious comorbidity, such as sleep apnoea," says Ms Johansson. "The powder is mixed with water and replaces every meal of the day, which gives a rapid loss of weight. It's also a good way of boosting the patients' motivation."

The researchers stress that the VLCD diet is not a general solution to weight problems, but something mainly to be used in the first phase of a long-term treatment programme. To keep the weight off, patients need to work hard to improve their dietary and exercise habits, usually with the aid of a long-term behaviour modification programme. Drugs can also be used in the post-weight loss phase to further improve weight loss maintenance.

The current study was part funded by Cambridge Manufacturing Company Limited, which markets the Cambridge Diet, the low-calorie powder used in the study. The company had no influence on the study, the analyses or the collation of the results. Examples of similar VLCD products marketed by other companies are Nutrilett, Naturdiet and Allevo. The researchers who conducted the study work at the Obesity Unit, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, and the Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Karolinska Institutet.


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Contact: Katarina Sternudd
katarina.sternudd@ki.se
46-852-483-895
Karolinska Institutet
Source:Eurekalert

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