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When these programs are made available, sufficient weight loss is possible, according to the study authors. This study published Sept. 3 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The research team was led by Peter Katzmarzyk from Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge. The study included 800 patients with obesity from Louisiana who were racially diverse and low-income.
Most Americans do have access to a clinic or doctor for primary care. Researchers wanted to see whether these facilities that treat low-income patients could develop a weight-loss program to treat obesity. Creating a program for low-income Americans will greatly increase their chances of achieving weight loss because they will have more guidance.
Low-income families face treatment barriers
“A lot of people, especially low-income people, have a lot of barriers to receiving treatment,” Katzmarzyk explained. “So we really wanted to test a program that would be kind of embedded in their primary care clinics — an environment that they are already familiar with.”
About half of the participants were randomly selected to join a weight-loss program. The program included weekly sessions with a health coach for the first 6 months, then monthly sessions for the remaining 18 months.
Lose more weight with programs
Those who joined the program lost 5% more of their body weight, compared to 1% of the participants who were only give regular medical care. Many were also able to keep off the weight and maintain a 5% body weight decrease after the study.
Although 5% may not seem like a lot, according Kris-Etherton, it could help lower a patients’ risk of developing heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes. These conditions are all linked to obesity. To avoid the risk of high blood pressure and other heart disease, consider trying natural treatment for high blood pressure.
“So they are not just losing 10 pounds. Patients are lowering their risk of cardio metabolic diseases,” said Kris-Etherton, who was not involved in the study. “Most people have more than 5% to lose, but if they could just lose that 5%, it would be very meaningful.”
According to the researchers, primary care providers have been slow to implement these intensive programs. Also, the number of obese patients who receive this kind of care has declined in recently. The facilities are a good place to start but should not be the sole deliverers of obesity treatment.
“This study emphasizes that weight loss in primary care settings is possible, but it’s just not being implemented,” Katzmarzyk said. “It really shows that it’s feasible — it can be done.”
Weight-loss for low-income Americans
To say the least, just losing 10 pounds can make a difference if you are overweight. Also, everyone should have access to weight loss programs. Since obesity is hitting the poor community hard, I believe it is only right for weight-loss to be more accessible to low-income families.
Source: Mcniff, Serena. “New Weight-Loss Program Shows Promise Among Low-Income Americans” www.usnews.com September 2, 2020