MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Jamy Ard MD
Professor of Epidemiology and Prevention
Co-director,the Wake Forest Baptist Health Weight Management Center
Wake Forest School of Medicine
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Obesity continues to be a growing health challenge, and doctors need as many resources as possible to help their patients achieve success. The OPTIWIN trial shows that a total meal replacement program like OPTIFAST can help with significant and sustained weight loss.
The OPTIFAST Program is a medically monitored weight loss program that combines meal replacement with behavioral counseling and personalized support. In the OPTIWIN study, participants were randomized to either the OPTIFAST Program (OP) or a behavioral intervention using a food-based diet (FB).
At both 26 and 52 weeks, the OP group lost, on average, twice as much of their initial body weight as the FB group:
- At 26 weeks: 12.4% (SE 0.6) vs 6.0% (SE 0.6) of body weight lost (OP vs FB, respectively; p<0.001)
- At 52 weeks: 10.5% (SE 0.6) vs 5.5% (SE 0.6) of body weight lost (OP vs FB, respectively; p<0.001)
Additionally, the proportion of participants who achieved clinically meaningful weight loss (≥5%, ≥10%, and ≥15%) was significantly higher in the OP group. For example:
- At 26 weeks, 55% of the OP group lost at least 10% of their initial body weight vs 23% of the FB group (p<0.001)
- At 52 weeks, 44% of the OP group lost at least 10% of their initial body weight vs 22% of the FB group (p<0.001)
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Total meal replacement programs are often viewed as a last resort, but OPTIWIN results demonstrate that programs like OPTIFAST can support significant weight loss. This study is a contemporary test of how patients respond to a total meal replacement program as an active weight loss treatment. OPTIWIN shows that the weight loss effect nearly doubled on OPTIFAST compared to a reduced-calorie food-based diet in the same year-long timeframe. The study also further demonstrates the tolerability and safety of total meal replacement. For these reasons, healthcare providers should feel confident based on the OPTIWIN results that total meal replacement is a viable option for their patients who have need help with effective obesity treatment.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: We need additional research on how we can continue to effectively engage patients in long-term treatment that provides support indefinitely to help continuously manage the chronic disease of obesity. We also need to begin assessing how the OPTIFAST program works with other treatments like anti-obesity medications and bariatric surgery. I would hypothesize that these effects could be even larger with the right combinations of treatments. Multimodal approaches for treatment are often necessary for optimal success. Lastly, we will begin to assess what we can learn from the OPTIWIN study about predictors of response to treatment; this will help us better understand how to match appropriate treatments with the right people.
Dr. Jamy Ard is a consultant for Nestlé Health Science and was the primary investigator for the OPTIWIN study.
OPTIWIN study will be reported at ObesityWeek 2018. Dr. Jamy Ard will present the poster (T-P-3127), titled “OPTIFAST® Increases Weight Loss Response Compared With Food Based Diet Plan: The OPTIWIN Study,” on Tuesday, November 13
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