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Treatment of Severe Overweight

"Counterweight" Weight-Loss and Obesity
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A widespread effort to boost UK doctors' ability to recognize and treat obesity appears to be working, according to preliminary study results reported Tuesday.

The project, called the "Counterweight" program, aims to improve obesity management in 80 practices across seven UK regions, the project's national coordinator Hazel Ross told a meeting of the Association for the Study of Obesity, in London.

Obesity Not Recognized

In their first assessment of the practices, Ross said, researchers found an "under-recognition" of obesity and a "recording problem" - only 57 percent of men and 70 percent of women had their body mass index (BMI) recorded in their patient records.

Specialist Weight Loss & Obesity Training

BMI is a measure of weight in relation to height used to gauge overweight and obesity. A BMI of 25 and above is defined as overweight, and 30 and higher indicates obesity. After looking at each practice's current situation and needs the researchers offered specialist training. The success of the project's weight-loss programs was then evaluated after three and six months.

Ross reported on the effect of such doctors' office-based weight loss for 682 people with an average BMI of 37. Most had another medical condition related to their obesity, such as heart disease, diabetes, back pain or arthritis. Over three months, participants, who were mostly women, attended six, short one-on-one appointments or six one-hour group sessions, during which they received diet and exercise advice.

Weight Loss Achieved

After three months, participants had lost an average of 3.32 kilograms (7.3 pounds). By six months they had dropped an average of 4.28 kilograms (9.4 pounds), with 43 percent shedding 5 percent or more of their original weight, and 13 percent losing 10 percent or more.

Obesity Management For Doctors

"Our preliminary data shows weight loss can be achieved with modest resources," Ross told experts attending the meeting. The Counterweight program, she said, is a "realistic" plan that could better equip doctors to help obese patients shed weight.

 

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