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Can clinically significant weight loss be achieved and sustained? An evaluation of a general practice based weight control clinic

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Background and aims: An evaluation was carried out of a general practice based weight control advice clinic to determine if clinically significant weight loss can be achieved and maintained in patients by this means. The weekly clinic was run by a health visitor for 8 years during which time 198 patients attended. Patients were seen individually by appointment on average between 1 and 4 weeks following referral by the GP, nurse or health visitor. The intervention was based on dietary and lifestyle advice.

Methods: Short-term outcomes were determined from retrospective inspection of clinic data for all 198 patients. One hundred and five patients were followed-up at least 1 year after completion of the programme of clinic attendance and weighed to determine the long-term outcome.

Results: One hundred and ninety-three (97%) patients achieved some weight loss during the programme, 33% achieved a 10% reduction in weight and 52% of patients achieved a reduction of BMI from above to below 30 kg/m2. Long-term follow-up showed that 6% patients maintained a 10% weight loss and 18% maintained a reduction of BMI from above to below 30 kg/m2.

Conclusion: The results of this evaluation suggest that research on appropriate follow-up to enable patients to maintain weight loss is needed.

Keywords: clinically significant weight loss; health visitor; weight control clinic

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Health Visitor, Chatsworth Road Medical Centre, Chesterfield, UK

Publication date: April 1, 1999


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