Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Course Instructor

Erika Kancler

Capstone Semester

Spring 2016

Date of Graduation

Summer 5-5-2016


Context Overweight and obesity rates are on a continuous incline in the United States leading to increased rates of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and death. Much of the healthcare costs are going into treating this disease; therefore, it is vital to find effective weight loss treatments in both the primary care and community settings to reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity and subsequent healthcare costs.

Objective To assess whether primary care-based therapy or commercial weight loss programs help overweight and obese patients lose 5% of their weight from baseline.

Design, Setting and Participants A systematic review of four randomized control trials of weight loss in overweight and obese adults (mostly women, ³18 years of age) each conducted for at least one year.

Intervention Commercial weight loss programs (Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig), which incorporate behavioral skills, nutritional plans and/or prepackaged meals, activity plans, group support and counseling. All commercial weight loss resources were provided free of charge. Participants assigned to primary care received weight loss and diet advice based upon their national clinical guidelines for treatment and behavioral skills (such as self-monitoring, goal setting and relapse prevention) during a select number of one-on-one or group sessions with a general practitioner. All sessions with the general practitioner were provided free of charge.

Main Outcome Measure Weight change over one year

Results All those allocated to Weight Watchers had a statistically significant decrease in weight from baseline; whereas some allocated to primary care achieved statistically significant decrease in weight from baseline. Not all studies revealed that there were significant differences between treatment groups for the percent of participants who achieved a 5% weight loss.

Conclusion Compared to primary care, Weight Watchers was the most effective treatment modality, which resulted in the greatest weight loss and best weight loss maintenance.

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