story to find out more.
Volunteers in the Every Size
approach were asked to find an enjoyable, appropriate form of physical
activity, such as walking. The focus was on improving health, not losing
weight. Click the image for more information about it.
Fighting Weight Gain a Different Way
By Marcia Wood
March 2, 2006
Education and coaching centered on healthrather than on weight
lossmay help chronic dieters improve their blood pressure, cholesterol
and other health indicators.
That's according to a study documented earlier in the
Journal of the American Dietetic
summarized in an obesity-focused issue of
Research magazine. The magazine is published by the Agricultural
Research Service (ARS), the
U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief
Keim and physiologist
Van Loan, both with ARS'
Human Nutrition Research Center in Davis, Calif., collaborated with
University of California-Davis researchers
for the study.
Seventy-eight obese women, aged 30 to 45, who volunteered for the
investigation were assigned to either a health-centered team or a
weight-loss-focused team. The teams met for specialized, 90-minute educational
sessions weekly for the first six months of the year-long study, then met for
six once-a-month sessions.
Both groups were instructed in nutrition basics. But women on the
weight-loss track were taught how to monitor their weight and control their
eating, while the other volunteers focused on how to build self-esteem and to
recognize and follow the body's natural, internal cues to hunger and fullness.
Chemist Erik Gertz and physiologist Marta Van Loan
examine a tray of serum samples to be analyzed for indicators of obese
volunteers' bone health. Click the image for more information about
A total of 38 women19 from each teamparticipated in a
panel of follow-up exams two years after the study's start. The health-centered
volunteers had kept their weight stable. In contrast, the weight-loss
volunteers lost weight by the sixth month of the study, but had regained it by
the two-year checkpoint.
At the start and end of the study, all volunteers' total cholesterol
and systolic blood pressure were in the normal range. However, the
health-centered women lowered their total cholesterol and systolic blood
pressure, and they were able to maintain those reductions. The weight-loss
women didn't lower their total cholesterol at any point in the investigation.
In addition, they weren't able to maintain the healthful decrease in systolic
blood pressure that they'd achieved just after the six-month weight-loss phase.