Phone-based weight-loss interventions might prevent diabetes

Intensive lifestyle interventions – when delivered over the telephone – might help people lose weight and prevent diabetes, according to new research from the Support, Health Information, Nutrition and Exercise (SHINE) study.

Researchers from SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York, found that group phone sessions could be as effective as lifestyle interventions that included in-person weight-loss coaching or exercise support.

Adaptions of the Diabetes Prevention Program

For the study, researchers compared the effectiveness of two different telephone adaptions of the Diabetes Prevention Program – a research project that consists of two interventions to prevent or delay diabetes. A total of 257 obese patients with metabolic syndrome were recruited for the study and randomly assigned to one of two groups. The first received individual calls, and the second participated in conference calls with up to eight patients per call. The study period lasted two years, and the researchers tracked weight changes after six, 12 and 24 months.

Results

After two years of calls, participants in both groups had lost weight, but the conference call subjects had lost more weight and continued to shed pounds compared to people who had individual calls. The authors elaborated:

SHINE ... was effective in achieving weight loss at one and two years, in obese people with metabolic syndrome. These individuals are at high risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and are important targets for weight loss. The SHINE model holds promise to stimulate lifestyle change and weight loss in primary care settings.

Having a supportive network of other individuals might have helped the group-call participants with weight loss, the authors concluded. And phone interventions offer an ideal strategy for weight loss, they noted, as this type of approach can reach a large number of patients at once during a time convenient to them.

Results of the study appear online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Source: Science Daily

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