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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Florida: Finds Longer Weight Loss Treatment Programs May Be Necessary to Improve Blood Sugar Levels

Current clinical recommendations for behavioral weight loss treatment call for 16 weekly sessions, but that may not be enough to improve blood sugar levels in patients who are at risk for developing diabetes, University of Florida researchers have found.

The scientists discovered that among people who participated in eight-week, 16-week or 24-week weight loss treatment sessions, only the participants in the 24-week treatment group achieved significant improvements in their hemoglobin A1c (a measure of average blood sugar over two to three months), as well as fasting blood glucose, when compared to a nutrition education control group. The findings appear in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.

“We hope that our findings may help guide physicians in their clinical decision making to help patients achieve not only weight loss, but also meaningful reductions in blood sugar,” said lead author Ms. Viviana Bauman, a third-year doctoral student in the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions’ department of clinical and health psychology.

Organizations such as the American Diabetes Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that people whose blood sugar levels meet the criteria for prediabetes, a major risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, participate in treatment programs to lose weight and lower blood sugar.

For the current study, researchers analyzed data from the Rural Lifestyle Intervention Treatment Effectiveness, or Rural LITE, trial, led by Dr. Michael G. Perri, dean of the College of Public Health and Health Professions and a professor in the department of clinical and health psychology.

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