Commercial weight loss program may help prevent diabetes in obese patients

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Over the 12-month period there was a mean weight reduction in BMI of 3.2 kg/m2.
Over the 12-month period there was a mean weight reduction in BMI of 3.2 kg/m2.

(HealthDay News) — Primary care referral along with a commercial weight management provider can deliver an effective diabetes prevention program (DPP), according to a study published online Oct. 16 in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.

Carolyn Piper, from the Department of Public Health in London, and colleagues evaluated whether a DPP delivered by a commercial weight management company using a primary care referral pathway could reduce progression to type 2 diabetes. A total of 166 patients with non-diabetic hyperglycemia were referred by 14 primary care practices. The intervention included an initial 90-minute session followed by 48 weekly Weight Watchers group meetings.

Of the referred patients, 149 were eligible to participate; 79% of them attended an activation session, and 77% started the weekly sessions (75% female, 90% white). The researchers found that DPP resulted in a mean reduction in HbA1c of 2.84 mmol/mol at 12 months. More than one-third of patients (38%) returned to normoglycemia, while 3% developed type 2 diabetes at 12 months. Over the 12-month period there was a mean weight reduction in BMI of 3.2 kg/m2.

"The lifestyle changes and weight loss achieved in the intervention translated into considerable reductions in diabetes risk, with an immediate and significant public health impact," conclude the authors.

One author reports financial ties to Weight Watchers, which helped fund the study.

Reference

Piper C, Marossy A, Griffiths Z, et al. Evaluation of a type 2 diabetes prevention program using a commercial weight management provider for non-diabetic hyperglycemic patients referred by primary care in the UK. BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care. 2017;5:e000418.doi: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2017-000418

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