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New Study In The Lancet: Partnership Between Primary Care Physicians And Weight Watchers Program Result In Greater Weight Loss In Overweight And Obese Adults

NEW YORK, Sept. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A new, one-year global study published today in The Lancet indicates that overweight and obese adults referred to Weight Watchers, a community based provider of weight-loss services, lost more than twice as much weight when compared with those who received standard care.

The study, the first of its kind, included participants who were recruited by primary care practices in the UK, Germany and Australia. It was conducted by research teams led by Dr. Susan Jebb, head of diet and population health at the Medical Research Council Human Nutrition Research Unit in Cambridge; Professor Hans Hauner at The Faculty of Medicine, Technische Universitat Munchen, Germany; and Professor Ian Caterson at the Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise and Eating Disorders, University of Sydney, Australia, and looked at weight loss among 772 people randomized to attend Weight Watchers or to receive standard weight loss treatment in their primary care practice over a 12 month period.  

Participants assigned to Weight Watchers lost, on average, more than twice as much weight as those in the standard care group. They were also more than three times as likely to lose 10% or more of their initial weight. Moreover, 61% of patients in the Weight Watchers group finished the study having lost at least 5% of their body weight (32% did so in the standard care group). Weight loss between 5 and 10% is shown to have significant health benefits and reduces the risks of diabetes and heart disease.

The significantly greater weight loss among Weight Watchers participants was accompanied by significantly greater reductions in waist size and fat mass; lessening the risk of Type 2 diabetes.  

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