Low-income obesity patients lose weight in new study

DURHAM, N.C. — With the assistance of a free telephone app, low-income overweight patients with indicators of cardiovascular danger misplaced a clinically significant quantity of weight, finds new analysis from Duke University.

The study is among the many first to report profitable weight loss inside a low-income inhabitants — a gaggle that suffers from skyrocketing charges of obesity however has confirmed onerous to deal with, stated lead writer Gary Bennett.

“Obesity continues to wreak havoc on the health of our country and we’ve had the most difficulty treating low-income Americans, those who are most affected by the condition,” stated Bennett, the Bishop-MacDermott Family Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University.

“This study shows we can help patients who are most at risk by embedding treatment in primary care settings and keeping patients engaged using a simple app.”

In the study, patients in a main care clinic used a free app referred to as Track to watch conduct modifications. The app wasn’t used in isolation: Doctors have been well-versed in the app and dietitians additionally adopted up with teaching calls. Patients who used the app and acquired teaching calls fared a lot better than a management group that acquired routine care.

Among Track program members, 43 % misplaced greater than 5 % of their physique weight over the course of a yr. Their waist sizes decreased, as did their blood strain. And a fair bigger variety of members — 56 % — misplaced a minimum of three % of their physique weight over 12 months, which docs think about a healthy quantity of weight loss. The outcomes are among the many greatest obesity remedy outcomes seen in a medically weak inhabitants, Bennett stated.

At a time when obesity stays epidemic, the analysis additionally gives encouraging proof of a remedy strategy that may work in a main care setting. That’s necessary, as main care settings are the place most patients obtain health care. Yet main care settings not often supply efficient weight-loss remedy, and only a few research have measured supply of a weight loss app in such setting.

The outcomes seem on-line Oct. 22 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Most weight-loss analysis up to now has targeted on in any other case healthy individuals who simply need to lose weight. Yet obesity fairly often exists aspect by aspect with different health issues. For that purpose, the researchers targeted on overweight individuals who have been sick: In addition to obesity, study individuals suffered from both hypertension, excessive ldl cholesterol or diabetes.

“Most of what we know about obesity treatment is based on people who are reasonably healthy and highly motivated to lose weight,” Bennett stated. “We’ve shown an ability to promote clinically meaningful weight loss among patients who need help the most, those with low motivation who already have the health risks associated with obesity.”

The study happened in a principally rural space. To Bennett, the profitable outcomes recommend that digital obesity remedies may help shut the hole between obesity care in city and rural settings.

“Digital treatments allow us to reach into the most remote settings to deliver high-quality care,” Bennett stated. “Expanding broadband services to all Americans should be a public health priority.”


The analysis was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (RO1K093829).

CITATION: “Effectiveness of an App and Provider Counseling for Obesity Treatment in Primary Care,” Gary G. Bennett, Dori Steinberg, Sandy Askew, Erica Levine, Perry Foley, Bryan Batch, Laura Svetkey, Hayden Bosworth, Elaine Pulio and Ashley Brewer, Abigail DeVries and Heather Miranda, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, December 2018.

DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2018.07.005

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