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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Obese Patients Reduce Weight Via Primary Care-Based Weight Intervention

No they don't.
Can a visit to your primary care doctor help you lose weight? Primary care physicians, working with medical assistants in their practices, helped one group of their obese patients lose an average of 10.1 lb during a two-year lifestyle intervention, according to a new study by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Their 10 lb weight loss was associated, over the two years, with improvements in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, including waist circumference and HDL cholesterol levels. The results of the POWER-UP (Practice-based Opportunities for Weight Reduction at the University of Pennsylvania) trial were reported in the latest edition of the New England Journal of Medicine and at the American Heart Association annual meeting.

"The enhanced lifestyle counseling program offers a successful model for treating obesity in primary care practice with the support of regular staff members - primary care providers (PCPs) and medical assistants," said POWER-UP principal investigator Thomas A. Wadden, PhD, professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine and director of the Penn Center for Weight and Eating Disorders. "This is an important finding, in light of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' recent proposal to cover the costs of intensive behavioral weight loss counseling provided to seniors in primary care practice by physicians and nurse practitioners," Dr. Wadden added.
5 pounds per year!

But only for "one group."

Not only is that not successful, it is a tremendous waste of resources that can be used to help people who do not choose to give themselves illnesses.

Clearly, when one looks nationally, primary care docs, like all docs, are abysmal failures at helping patients lose weight.

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