A Shift in Goals Results in Weight Loss
Successful weight-loss strategies for African American women have eluded scientists for some time, which is why a team of researchers set its sights on weight maintenance instead. Nearly 200 overweight and obese African American women between the ages of 25 and 44 were randomly assigned to usual primary care (plus getting a twice-yearly wellness newsletter) or a weight-maintenance program that included such assistance as goal setting, monthly counseling calls with a registered dietitian, and a gym membership. Despite the fact that participants were told the goal was for overall well-being—not weight loss—those in the weight-maintenance group dropped more pounds during one year than their peers and were better able to maintain their weight for an additional six months. At the year mark, 62 percent of women in the weight-maintenance program were at or below their starting weight, compared with 45 percent in the usual-care group.
Source: JAMA Internal Medicine, published online Aug. 26, 2013