Advantages of group treatment and structured exercise in promoting short-term weight loss and cardiovascular risk reduction in adults with central obesity.

Previous data suggest that group obesity treatment results in greater weight loss than individual treatment. Whether exercise with calorie restriction results in significantly greater weight loss as compared with calorie restriction alone remains unclear. We evaluated the impact of self-selected group intervention, with and without exercise, on body mass index (BMI) and cardiovascular risk factors. 86 Obese adults underwent laboratory studies, were prescribed a low-calorie diet and moderate intensity exercise, and participated in group behavior modification sessions based on preference. At 20 weeks, greater weight loss was noted among those in group versus individual treatment, with losses of 13% versus 10.6%, respectively. Participants reporting regular exercise had greater weight loss compared to those who remained sedentary, with losses of 15.9% versus 9.2%, respectively. Both group treatment and exercise were associated with improvement in a greater number of cardiovascular risk factors.

On the basis of participant preference, both group obesity treatment and exercise are associated with greater weight loss and improvement in more cardiovascular risk factors than an individual intervention and no exercise.

Miller WM, Franklin BA, Nori Janosz KE, Vial C, Kaitner R, McCullough PA.  Advantages of group treatment and structured exercise in promoting short-term weight loss and cardiovascular risk reduction in adults with central obesity. Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2009 Oct;7(5):441-6

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