06 Apr Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig Achieved One Year Weight Loss
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Kimberly Gudzune, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor; The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Core Faculty; Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research
The Johns Hopkins Digestive Weight Loss Center
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr.Gudzune: Changes in healthcare policy may encourage healthcare providers to screen their patients for obesity, so it is critical to then have a weight management plan if obesity is identified. Recent guidelines recommend that clinicians consider referring patients to high intensity weight loss programs. Commercial weight loss programs may be one of the options available, so providers need to know which programs help people lose weight and keep it off.
We found that only 11 out of 32 programs that we looked at had rigorous studies reporting on weight loss, which means that we do not know whether most programs work. Several well-known commercial programs have been scientifically tested and two programs, Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, achieved significant weight loss that was sustained 12 months later.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr.Gudzune: Patients who are interested in losing weight can use this study to start a discussion with their doctor about their weight loss options and choosing a weight loss plan that is right for them.
For clinicians, I think it is important to consider whether the program has scientific evidence to prove that it works, as well as the costs and time commitment required with the program. I hope that the results of our study will facilitate these types of weight loss discussions with their patients.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr.Gudzune: There remains many programs that are untested or have not been evaluated with respect to long-term results. I think that these are areas where additional research needs to be done in order to give both clinicians and patients more scientifically tested options. For the programs that have already demonstrated success, I think that understanding how a clinician might assist patients who use these programs would be an important next step.
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kimberly Gudzune, MD, MPH (2015). Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig Achieved One Year Weight Loss