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Commercial Weight Management Programs Work Better Than Primary Care Services

November 3, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
British researchers who compared the effectiveness of commercial weight loss programs with primary care-led programs found the commercial programs to be cheaper and more effective. The 12-week study involved 740 obese and overweight men and women. Programs included were Weight Watchers, Slimming World, Rosemary Conley, a group-based dietetics program, general practice one-to-one counseling, pharmacy one-to-one counseling, or a choice of any of the six programs. A control group was given vouchers for free use of a local fitness center. All programs achieved significant weight loss. But the researchers concluded that commercial weight management services were more effective and cheaper than primary care based services led by specially trained staff, which were no more effective than the control group.
K. Jolly et al., "Comparison of range of commercial or primary care led weight reduction programs with minimal intervention control for weight loss in obesity: Lighten Up randomized controlled trial", BMJ.com, November 03, 2011, © BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
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