NIH studies find long-term weight loss methods for clinical practice
Weight loss coaching via phone, Web, and e-mail contact as well as support from primary care providers can help obese adults loose a significant amount of weight.
Akinso: Obese adults who received weight loss coaching over the phone, web, email contacts and support from their primary care providers lost a significant amount of weight for about two years according to a five year two part NIH study. Dr. Barbara Wells is the program director of the POWER Trials.
Wells: POWER is an acronym. It actually stands for Practice-based Opportunities for Weight Reduction.
Akinso: She says results from two POWER studies are appearing separately in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Wells: These were separate randomized, control trials funded by the NIH to identify effective weight loss treatments that can be used in ordinary, real world, primary care practices to help obese patients.
Akinso: The first POWER trial was conducted by John Hopkins University School of Medicine. POWER Hopkins recruited 415 participants from six primary care practices in the Baltimore area and assigned them at random to one of three groups.
Wells: One was a control or self directed group. The second group, which we called the remote group, received phone internet and email support from trained weight loss coaches with no face to face contacts. The third group received the same phone, internet, and email support plus individual group sessions with office based coaches. The latter two groups also received support from their primary care providers at the regularly scheduled medical visits.
Akinso: The control group received weight loss information in printed materials and a website link. Dr. Wells explains what researchers found when comparing the groups.
Wells: They found that both treatment approaches achieves substantial weight loss, with or without in person coaching sessions. The average weight loss regardless of whether it was in person or remote was over 10 pounds.
Akinso: The second study, known as, POWER-UP, was conducted by the University of Pennsylvania. There were 390 participants from six primary care practices in the Penn Medicine system and also assigned them at random to one of three groups.
Wells: The control or usual care group received printed educational materials. The second group was offered a brief lifestyle counseling approach of 25 coaching sessions that relied upon auxiliary health care providers such as medical assistance. And the third group, the enhance brief lifestyle was also offered these 25 coaching sessions plus they had the additional option to use meal replacements such as liquid shakes or meal bars or take prescription weight loss medication. And all groups met with their primary health care provider four times a year this trial.
Akinso: Dr. Wells points out that the POWER-UP study findings were different.
Wells: What they found was that the enhanced brief lifestyle counseling was more effective than the usual care group. Weight loss for the brief lifestyle counseling group did not differ significantly from the usual care group.
Akinso: Dr. Wells adds that these studies will help bring proven weight loss interventions to the front lines of clinical practice. For more information, visit www.nhlbi.nih.gov. This is Wally Akinso at the NIH, Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Wally Akinso
Sound Bite: Dr. Wells
Topic:Weight loss, obesity, obese