Linda Gotthelf, PhD
Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: Employment (Health Management Resources).
Gotthelf L. Commercial Weight Loss Programs. Ann Intern Med. 2005;142:1023-1024. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-142-12_Part_1-200506210-00017
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2005;142(12_Part_1):1023-1024.
TO THE EDITOR:
While I applaud Drs. Tsai and Wadden's call for more outcome data from weight loss programs (1), I was mystified by their conclusion. Because of the narrow criteria Tsai and Wadden imposed, several recent studies from Health Management Resources were not included. While randomized, controlled trials are one type of study, other available data should not be ignored. Ongoing data from treatment programs should be considered valid since a natural “control” group exists in overweight, nondieting Americans (people, on average, are gaining ≥0.45 kg [≥1 lb] yearly) (2). Furthermore, the authors call for “naturalistic studies” that follow a large cohort to determine the percentage of persons who complete various phases of treatment, as well as the amount of weight lost. When offered such data from Health Management Resources from dozens of major medical centers, the authors refused to consider it.
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