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Saturday, 11 May 2013 00:35

Comparing Commercial To Clinic-Based Diet Programs

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Which type of program is more effective for weight loss? A commercial program like Weight Watchers, or a medical weight loss clinic?

Dr. Adam G. Tsai, a physician and weight loss specialist at the University of Colorado in Denver, published the results of a new National Institutes of Health (NIH) study. The study compares the efficacy of a commercial weight loss program (Weight Watchers) with that of a “clinic-based intervention” (weight loss clinic).

Participants in the trial were either given a voucher to attend Weight Watchers for 17 weeks, or were assigned to a clinic group that provided 12 visits over 17 weeks. Those in the clinic group were also given the option to use meal replacements or weight loss medication.

The results of the NIH study are dramatic. Participants in the clinic group lost 4.0 kg (about 10 lbs), compared to just 0.4 (one pound) for those in the commercial program. Weight losses in the clinic group were 3.2 kg for meal replacements and 5.0 kg for weight loss medication.

Dr. Tsai's National Institutes of Health study concluded that "a clinic-based intervention was more effective than a popular commercial program for weight loss."

Source: Journal of Primary Care & Community Health, http://jpc.sagepub.com/content/3/4/251

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