Low-Intensity Weight Loss Program Targeting Obesity Leads to Clinically Significant & Sustainable Weight Loss

  Low-Intensity Weight Loss Program Targeting Obesity Leads to Clinically   Significant & Sustainable Weight Loss   One-third of participants in this study reported weight loss of ≥ 5% of body           weight after six months; 11% reported weight loss of ≥ 10%  Business Wire  ATLANTA -- January 28, 2014  A low-intensity weight loss program that requires only three behavioral counseling calls to complete the program combined with a comprehensive website can lead to clinically significant and sustainable weight loss for many obese participants, according to a study published this month in the Journal of Obesity.  The study of 2,917 participants with a stated goal of losing weight demonstrated that 34% of participants who responded to the six-month follow-up survey reported a weight loss of ≥ 5% while 11% reported a weight loss of ≥ 10%. At 12 months, 39% of participants who responded to the survey reported a weight loss of ≥ 5% while 16% reported a weight loss of ≥ 10%.  Conducted by Alere Wellbeing, a leading provider of behavior change solutions, the study evaluated employee participants of 15 employers who started the program with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or greater between 2009 and 2011. Employees were offered the six-month integrated phone- and web-based weight management program as an employee benefit.  The program included three staff-initiated phone-based counseling sessions, including two calls with a weight loss health coach and one with a registered dietician. Participants could call in to talk with a coach any time during program participation. The website offered eLearning modules for core skills and health behaviors such as stress reduction, time management, body image improvement, and coping with difficult eating sessions as well as weight and activity trackers.  “For obese people, losing just 5% of body weight can prevent chronic conditions or slow the progression of a chronic condition, as well as significantly improve their health, productivity and quality of life,” says Kelly Carpenter, PhD, the lead author of the study, “Outcomes and Utilization of a Low Intensity Workplace Weight Loss Program.” “This study demonstrates that behavioral coaching combined with the right online tools can lead obese people to healthy behavior change.”  Another important finding was that positive health behavior changes were evident even among those who did not achieve a clinically significant weight loss. At six months, a majority of participants who responded to the six-month survey reported eating four servings of fruit and vegetables each day. “Even if they didn’t lose weight, these healthy lifestyle changes can improve their health status and eventually lead to weight loss,” Dr. Carpenter explains.  Participants who responded to the six-month survey also reported eating breakfast on most days – which has been shown to reduce overeating throughout the day – and increasing physical activity to at least four days a week. About 30% of participants reported lower stress levels after participating in the program. Results showed that participants who lowered their stress level were more likely to achieve a clinically significant weight loss.  The Alere program evaluated in the study has since evolved to become the American Diabetes Association WeightTalk® Program – a comprehensive weight loss program offered to employers, health plans and public sector organizations. Launched in 2012, WeightTalk Program includes 11 staff-initiated calls and a website structured around 10 evidence-based practices designed to help participants learn weight-loss fundamentals. Alere also offers a specialized program, WeightTalk® D, for obese people with Type 2 diabetes.  If you are interested in learning more about WeightTalk, contact Alere Wellbeing.  About Alere  Alere Wellbeing is part of the health information solutions business of Alere Inc. By developing new capabilities in near-patient diagnosis, monitoring and health information technology, Alere enables individuals to take charge of improving their health and quality of life at home. Alere's global leading products and services, as well as its new product development efforts, focus on cardiology, infectious disease, toxicology and diabetes. Alere is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. For more information regarding Alere, please visit www.alere.com.  Contact:  Alere Jan McClure, 770-559-1016 janm@mccluremedia.com