Physicians frequently prescribe medications to help individual’s lose weight. More often than not, few other lifestyle modification changes are recommended, or resources provided. Researchers sought to compare methods of delivering lifestyle modification programs to patients receiving sibutramine, a prescribed weight loss medication.
367 obese patients were randomly assigned to one of five lifestyle intervention groups for six months: High-frequency face-to-face lifestyle modification counseling (HF-F2F); low-frequency face-to-face lifestyle modification counseling (LF-F2F); high-frequency telephone counseling (LF-TEL), high-frequency e-mail counseling (HF-EM); or no dietitian contact (Self-Help). All of the participants received 10 mg/day of sibutramine, a lifestyle manual, and access to a weight loss web site.
At 6-months, the mean weight loss from baseline in the HF-F2F (8.9%) and HF-TEL (7.7%) groups was similar, and significantly greater than the other groups. The LF-F2F weight loss was 6.4%, HF-EM 5.9%, and Self-Help 5.2%. All of the groups showed improvements in other areas, such as waist circumference, blood levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglycerides, and measures of quality of life.
Bottom Line: This study once again shows that the more frequently a person interacts with a dietitian to help in their weight loss endeavors, the greater the weight loss – even if weight loss medication is involved. The HF-TEL contact with a dietitian was similar to HF-F2F in promoting weight loss. Even the email counseling resulted in a weight loss that, sustained over time can have a considerable impact on a person’s risk of developing disease. In real-world situations, it may be difficult to conduct face-to-face sessions with a provider over the long haul, but when other methods are used together, they can work synergistically to help a person achieve their desired weight loss.
Cleveland Clinic Preventive Cardiology offers a variety of methods to help you achieve your health goals.
Get more information on nutrition strategies. To make an appointment with a registered dietitian for private or group sessions, call the Cleveland Clinic Preventive Cardiology - 216.444.9353 or 800.223.2273 ext. 9353. Or, get a nutrition consultation online with our private and secure MyConsult Nutrition Consultation.
Resource: Digenio AG, Mancuso JP, et al. Comparison of methods for delivering a lifestyle modification program for obese patients: a randomized trial.Ann Intern Med. 2009;150(4):255-62
Written by Melissa Ohlson, MS, RD, LD, Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation.
Can't find the health information you’re looking for?