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Morbid Obesity and Women
Treatment of Class 3 Obesity in Inner-City Patients
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Morbid Obesity & Women

Treatment of Morbid Obesity in Inner-City Women

Obesity Study - Methods
We accepted 131 morbidly obese indigent women into our study program. The study was limited to women only and the average starting weight was 292.3 ± 5.9 lbs (± SE; 50.3 ± 0.9 body mass index [kg/m2]). We used three treatment paradigms: total cost-free program for 10 weeks; cost-free, but compliance requirements; and a weekly charge of $25. The results obtained were compared with two control populations: women enrolled during the same recruitment period in a comparable suburban VLCD program and a historical control population of suburban women treated from 1985 through 1995.

Obesity Study - Results
In group A (total cost-free), 79 percent of patients completed the 10-week program, but only 18 percent of patients achieved the goal of 10 percent weight loss. In group B when attendance and weight loss requirements were imposed, the dropout rate accelerated such that only 37 percent of patients completed the 10-week course, and 16 percent of the women were successful with their weight loss. In group C, imposing $25/wk financial outlay also accelerated dropouts but had little effect on weight loss success, which was 10 percent of the starting group. By comparison, the suburban patients and the historical control group exhibited 67 percent and 76 percent attendance rates after 10 weeks, and 33 percent and 55 percent success rates, respectively, in achieving the weight loss goal.

Obesity Study - Issues
We conclude that inner-city patients exhibit great interest in weight loss when financial barriers are removed. Successful weight loss was achieved in 10 percent to 18 percent of patients using the VLCD approach, approximately one-half of that obtained in affluent suburban women. Imposing financial or compliance restrictions to the inner-city patients served only to enhance dropouts.

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Source: New Jersey Medical School. 2003

Weight Loss & Obesity Reduction
The science of weight loss and weight management is constantly evolving, along with research into diet modification, types of gastrointestinal weight loss surgery and weight loss drugs. At present, however, a balanced diet plan combined with a regular fitness program remains the favored weight control strategy of most weight loss experts.

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