Behavioral therapy and weight loss

Recently published studies show diet changes, exercise and other behavioral tactics do help overweight adults shed the pounds. After carrying out clinical trails, researchers found that behavioral programs helped obese people lose an average of up to 7 pounds more than those who received no therapy.

Adding medication appeared to aid weight loss even more. The trials showed that intensive behavioral therapy plus the use of Xenical, people lost an average of 11 to 22 pounds, against 7 to 13 pounds with just the therapy.

It’s unclear if these findings will persuade the USPTF (a federally supported team of medical experts), to deviate away from their recommendations back in 2003 whereby they said that all adults should be screened for obesity, with a mere simple calculation of weight in relation to ones height. They also noted that “intensive” behavioral therapy was an effective obesity treatment. This may include programs that combine nutrition education and exercise.

Lead researcher of the recent Study, Dr Erin S. LeBlanc of the Center for Health Research at Kaiser Permanente in Portland, Oregon, had this to say on the matter “the take home message is that behavioural interventions do work for weight loss. And if you attend sessions more often, you lose more weight”.

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