Weight management program has long term benefits

New research from a phase 4 review by Griffith University of an in-market weight management program provides evidence that a pharmacy-based program can lead to long-term maintenance of weight loss.

Long-term maintenance of weight loss on the program runs counter to previous evidence that individuals re-gain weight even when on dietary interventions.

The program, developed in collaboration with the CSIRO, combines in-pharmacy support with the CSIRO diet book, meal replacements and a phone support service. Along with assessing weight loss the program takes measures of blood pressure, glucose and total cholesterol. Over 60,000 people have started the program since its inception five years ago.

Griffith University’s review covered data collected by pharmacies Australia-wide for the five-year period. In-market reviews are commonly undertaken by the pharmaceutical sector to continue assessing the effect and safety of new interventions.

For those compliant with the program there was an approximate loss of 5% of bodyweight along with reductions in blood pressure and total cholesterol.

“That weight loss is sustained on this program goes against all the belief that weight management programs are not effective in the long term” notes Professor Allan Cripps, the lead investigator on the review team.

“Obesity is now considered an epidemic in developed countries, with over 60% of the adult Australian population overweight. This increases the risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Reducing excess body mass is a key health priority and requires multiple approaches, such as those incorporated in this program” says Dr Nicholas West.

The review is available on Griffith University’s website and is currently in the process of being published.