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Weight Management and Diet
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Weight Management and Diet

Weight Loss Study Introduction
Among health professionals there remains uncertainty about which interventions are effective in the treatment of obesity and there is a need to provide scientifically evaluated evidence regarding the efficacy of different approaches for weight loss. Current clinical guidelines for the management of obesity in Scotland recommend a 12-week weight loss period using an individualized 600 kcal daily energy deficit diet (ED) to achieve moderate weight loss. However this approach had not been formally evaluated in a randomized controlled trial.

It is recommended that weight management be undertaken in primary health care, community or commercial sectors. Within these categories, the work place has shown promise as a location, allowing access to new populations who may not otherwise seek weight loss advice.

Weight Loss Study Aim
The main aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness, in terms of weight loss and maintenance of weight loss, of the individualized daily energy deficit diet with a 1500 kcal generalized low calorie diet (GLC) over a 24-week period (12-weeks weight loss plus 12-weeks weight maintenance).

Weight Loss Study Methods
The location for this study was a large petrochemical work site. where 122 men aged between 18 and 55 years were recruited using electronic mail and randomised to one of the two dietary approaches. One third were randomised to an initial control period prior to receiving dietary advice. All subjects attended for review every 2 weeks during the weight loss period and were contacted by electronic mail at 2-week intervals during the weight maintenance phase and anthropometric and dietary information requested.

Weight Loss Study Results
No difference was found between the diet groups in mean weight loss at 12 weeks. Mean weight loss was closer to the intended weight loss in the ED group. The dropout rate was also lower than the GLC group. Mean weight gain following 12 weeks weight maintenance was +1.1 kg. No between group differences were found.

Weight Loss Study Conclusion
The individualised ED approach was no more effective in terms of weight loss than the GLC approach. However the energy deficit approach might be considered preferable, as compliance appears greater with this less demanding prescription. The weight maintenance intervention was designed as a low input approach however weight regain was significant and weight maintenance strategies require further development. Men, in general, are characterised by central fat distribution, which significantly increases their cardiovascular risk. At baseline, prior to intervention, the mean waist circumference of subjects in both groups exceeded the "action level 2" cut-off for men of 102cms indicating significant health risks. The location of this study therefore not only accessed a population new to weight management but also one at high cardiovascular risk.

Source: Leslie WS, Lean MEJ, Baillie HM, Hankey CR. Weight Management: a comparison of existing dietary approaches in a work-site setting. Int J Obes 26:1469-1475

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