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Intensive lifestyle intervention combined with the choice of pharmacotherapy improves weight loss and cardiac risk factors in the obese

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Abstract Background 

Obesity is on the increase yet within the National Health Service (NHS) treatment approaches differ greatly and service is patchy. Our aim was to compare current practice within a general dietetic clinic with a new clinic developed specifically for patients of higher morbidity risk. Methods 

Locally referred patients to the dieticians from within or without Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust of higher morbidity risk were invited to attend a new Lifestyle Clinic. Treatment was of a contractual nature and included more time with the dietitian, the offer of pharmacotherapy if appropriate and an emphasis on achieving a realistic weight loss of 10% within a 6-month period. Cognitive behavioural strategies were utilized focusing on achieving changes in dietary intake and physical activity levels. Results 

A total of 103 patients have been enrolled of whom 34 have been discharged before completion of the clinic programme. Twenty-six patients have completed (18 started pharmocotherapy with Orlistat and eight remained on lifestyle advice only), with the remainder still attending the Lifestyle Clinic. The results for these 26 patients demonstrate clinically significant benefits with regard to exercise tolerance390.8 ± 37.5 m vs. 473 ± 46.6 m (P < 0.001), waist measurement 121.5 ± 4.4 cm vs. 110.9 ± 3.6 cm (P < 0.001), and total cholesterol : HDL ratio 1.17 ± 0.05 mmol L−1 vs. 1.27 ± 0.07 mmol L−1 (P < 0.05). A weight loss comparison with historical data collected in the general dietetic clinic achieves a 7.8 ± 0.7 kg reduction in weight (with pharmocotherapy 8.96 ± 0.98 kg, with lifestyle only 5.23 ± 0.657) vs. 1.7 ± 0.4 kg (P < 0.05). Conclusion 

Lifestyle clinics facilitate beneficial lifestyle changes which impact positively on morbidity risk factors demonstrating an improvement on current service offered within the NHS. There is an obvious resource implication of offering an intensive management package. There is need for a randomized control trial with analysis to evaluate whether there is cost benefit from this type of intervention.
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Keywords: cardiac risk factors; dietician; obesity management; outcome; pharmocotherapy; weight loss

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London, UK

Publication date: 2002-08-01

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