A recent survey shows that weight loss plans are more successful when patients get help from their physicians in the process.
Researchers, however, said that convincing patients to seek professional help when dieting may be challenging because weight loss programs are not covered by Medicare or private insurance plans.
Dr. Wendy Bennett, senior researcher involved in the study and professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, explained that the findings her team was able to make over the course of two years clearly showed that dieting had greater odds of success when patients received help from their doctors in their weight loss efforts.
“Incorporating physicians into future programs might lead patients to more successful weight loss,”
Dr. Bennett concluded.
During their study, researchers sifted through data on nearly 350 people enrolled in the Practice-based Opportunities for Weight Reduction (POWER), a three-stage trial funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. POWER’s main goal was to find whether weight loss plans were more effective when a coach or health care provider was involved.
About 63 percent of study participants were women, while 40 percent were African Americans. The mean body mass index was 36.3, while the average age was 55 years old.
Study authorsnoted that participants who reported a high level of satisfaction with their doctors’ helpfulness in their dieting plans also lost the most weight over the course of the two years.
For instance, patients who were actively helped by the physicians to lose weight during that period of time lost on average 111 pounds. On the other hand, volunteers who reported a low level of satisfaction with their health care providers in their weight loss efforts only lost 5 pound on average.
Study authors hope that the study’s results would encourage health officials to promote team-based weight-loss plans and adopt reimbursement programs whenever people seek medical help in trimming down extra pounds.
The recent study is consistent with a 2012 research on the success team-work has in weight loss struggles. Back then, study authors explained that people around us have a great influence on our behaviors.
The 2012 team explained that that is true for both healthy and unhealthy conducts. Researchers found that weight loss was more effective when people teamed up with their friends or significant others, made healthy food and workout choices together, and encouraged one another to respect those decisions.
And that may prove even more effective when having a health professional around that can suggest informed food choices and treatments, researchers believe.
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