To think a person could lose 100 pounds in just 44 weeks by changing their behavior is quite impressive. James Anderson, a doctor and professor at the University of Kentucky has just led a nine-year study of patients who have lost 100 or more pounds. This weight loss result was achieved by following an intensive behavioral program.
Dr James Anderson, who is a professor at the University of Kentucky (UK), has been involved in clinical research for more than 33 years. In the early 1980’s, he pioneered the use of high fiber diets for treatment of diabetes and launched the “oatmeal craze.” Therapeutic specialties include obesity, diabetes, lipid disorders, and nutrition. He is also the director of the Obesity Research Network, a nationwide network of physicians and scientists recognized for their work in the treatment of obesity and experience in clinical research trials.
There were 118 men and women involved in the weight loss study using behavioral changes. There were 63 men and 55 women involved in this 9-year study. The average starting weight of the participants was 353 pounds. The study showed the average weight loss was 134 pounds in just 44 weeks.
According to Anderson, “This study shows that one in four persons who participate in an intensive weight loss program for 12 weeks can go on to lose over 100 pounds. This program has much lower risks than surgery and can lead to similar long-term weight loss.”
Study participants were enrolled in the Health Management Resources(HMR) Weight Management Program, an intensive behavioral program, which is a partnership between HMR and UK. The program is based on limited calorie intake — 1,000 to 1,200 calories daily. They used specialty entrees and also meal replacements (ex: protein drink). They were also required to increase their physical activity. Most of the participants chose walking as their mode of exercise.
Their dramatic weight loss had many benefits. It lowered blood pressure, cholesterol levels, diabetes, and sleep apnea. 66% of the group were able to discontinue their high blood pressure medicine as well as medication for high blood lipids. They were also able to discontinue medicine they were taking for diabetes or degenerative joint disease.
“Losing more than 100 pounds is a great achievement,” Anderson said. “But the overall benefits in ability to enjoy life and be a full participant in activities with family and friends are more important to most people than are the reduced need to take medicine and worry about health issues.”