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New therapeutic treatment helps people lose more weight and keep it off

from TOS

A new approach to weight loss called Acceptance-Based Behavioral Treatment (ABT) helped people lose more weight and keep it off longer than those who received only Standard Behavioral Treatment (SBT) according to a new randomized controlled clinical trial in the October issue of Obesity. Researchers studied the impact of the new ABT method, which ties the effort to a larger personal value beyond weight loss for its own sake, to help people adhere to diet and physical activity goals.

“Standard Behavioral Treatments (SBT), which emphasize the importance of decreased caloric intake and increased physical activity, can help individuals lose weight for a period of time, but the strategies taught in such a program are difficult to maintain long-term,” said lead author Evan Forman, PhD, FTOS. “The Acceptance-Based Behavioral Treatment (ABT) method teaches highly specialized self-regulation skills so individuals trying to lose weight can continue making healthful choices long after the program ends. These skills include mindful decision making, identifying and committing to big-picture life values and a willingness to accept discomfort and reduced pleasure for the sake of those values.”

The study, part of the well regarded Mind Your Health trial, is one of the first of its kind. Results showed that participants who received ABT (which includes all behavioral skills taught in SBT) lost 13.3 percent of their initial weight at one year, compared to 9.8 percent weight loss at one year for participants who received SBT only. This difference represents a clinically significant 36 percent increase in weight lost for those in the ABT group. In addition, the likelihood of maintaining a 10 percent weight loss at 12 months was one-third greater for ABT with a rate of 64 percent versus 49 percent for ABT alone. As Thomas Wadden, PhD, FTOS, and Robert Berkowitz, MD, FTOS point out in their accompanying commentary, weight loss with ABT is among the largest ever reported in the behavioral treatment literature without use of an aggressive diet or medication.

Read the study and its accompanying commentary in the October issue of Obesity. Also find a press release from TOS with additional details here. more


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