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NewsBites April 2018 Issue

Weight Loss Programs Effectively Prevent Disease and Premature Death

The influential US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has concluded there is “adequate evidence” that intensive weight loss or weight-loss maintenance programs based on behavior change help people with obesity to lose enough weight to prevent chronic diseases. The recommendation is based on a review of 124 studies, including 89 clinical trials. The draft recommendation noted that the evidence that weight-loss drugs can help people achieve and maintain a healthier weight is less convincing than the evidence for behavior change. For that reason, the USPSTF concluded, primary care doctors should first suggest a behavioral approach. The USPSTF determined that successful weight loss or weight-loss management programs include group sessions (12 sessions or more in the first year), guidance to help people make healthier dietary choices, encouragement to increase physical activity and tools to help people monitor their weight and physical activity.

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