Weight Loss via Dialling

The telephone may also be a key to
less weight; © PixelQuelle.de

For individuals looking for a weight-loss program that is more convenient and less expensive than the traditional clinic-based approach, University of Kansas obesity researcher Joe Donnelly may have found a solution.

Donnelly, director of KU's Center for Physical Activity and Weight Management, has completed a study that shows great promise for a weight-loss program that conducts patient counselling by telephone. Preliminary data from a 26-week randomised study shows that participants in the phone-based program lost almost as much weight as another group receiving services through the face-to-face clinical method.

“The results showed promise for weight loss interventions delivered entirely over the phone as a viable alternative to the usual clinic method,” Donnelly said.

Participants in the phone-based program lost an average of 23 pounds over twelve weeks and 28 pounds over 26 weeks, which compares favourably to weight loss for participants in the clinic-based program of 28 pounds in twelve weeks and 28 pounds in 26 weeks. Participants included those from Lawrence and the Kansas City area.

For twelve weeks, both the phone and clinic groups followed the same 1,200-calorie diet, which included using calorie-controlled meal replacements, increased servings of vegetables and fruits and weekly physical activity levels that met or exceeded the new Department of Agriculture “Pyramid” diet guidelines. One group of dieters attended weekly group clinic meetings, while the other group met via conference calls. The remaining 14 weeks of the study concentrated on weight maintenance for both groups.

“There are several potential advantages to participants and providers in a phone-based program,” Donnelly said. “The cost is less, and there is less conflict with work and family commitments. Individuals also don't incur the time and expense of getting to and from the clinic.

MEDICA.de; Source: University of Kansas