Weight Watchers works in tackling obesity – study

2011-09-08 09:34

Paris – Adults referred to the commercial weight loss programme Weight Watchers shed twice as much weight as people who received standard care over a 12-month period, according to a study published today.

In clinical trials, researchers led by Susan Jebb of the UK Medical Research Council assessed 772 overweight and obese adults in Australia, Germany, and Britain.

About half the patients received a year’s standard care, while the other half were given a 12-month free membership for a Weight Watchers group near their homes.

Sixty-one percent of the participants assigned to the commercial programme completed it, while 51% of the “standard care” group finished their programme.

Overall, individuals in Weight Watchers lost around twice as much weight as did those in the other group, a mean loss of 5.1kg versus 2.2kg.

Among those who stuck with either programme to the end, the figures were 6.7kg against 3.3kg, respectively.

Participants randomised to Weight Watchers were also more than three times as likely to lose at least 5% of their bodyweight, said the study, published in The Lancet.

Weight Watchers offers weekly weighing and group support. It also promotes a balanced, reduced-energy diet along with increased physical activity.

Primary care providers – sometimes nurses, sometimes doctors – generally offer weight loss treatment in line with national guidelines, but vary in the level of supervision.

“The similar weight losses achieved in Australia, Germany, and the UK implies that this commercial programme, in partnership with primary care providers, is a robust intervention that is generalisable to other economically developed countries,” the researchers concluded.

The researchers emphasised the important role of family doctors and primary healthcare providers in giving advice, and in making referrals to commercial weight loss programmes.

“Further research is needed to examine long-term weight loss maintenance, together with a formal analysis of cost-effectiveness,” they added.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.