It makes sense to extend coaching and guidance between visits, Katz said. "That, in fact, has been shown before. Using telephones or the Internet to stay connected to patients between counseling sessions enhances weight loss and health improvement," he added.
"With cellphones all but ubiquitous, we have the technology to build continuous contact into weight-management programs," Katz said. "This study demonstrates the early benefits of doing so."
For more on weight-loss programs, visit the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
SOURCES: Bonnie Spring, Ph.D., professor, preventive medicine and psychiatry, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago; David Katz, M.D., M.P.H., director, Prevention Research Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.; Goutham Rao, M.D., Goutham Rao, M.D., vice chair of family medicine, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Evanston, Ill.; Dec. 10, 2012, Archives of Internal Medicine, online
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