Effects of electroacupuncture in reducing weight and waist circumference in obese women: a randomized crossover trial

Int J Obes (Lond). 2005 Nov;29(11):1379-84. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0802997.


Objective: To compare the effects of weight control on simple obese women between electroacupuncture and sit-up exercise.

Design: Randomized and crossover trial conducted from 1 January 2002 to 31 December 2002. The subjects were randomly divided into groups A and B. Group A received electroacupuncture treatment first while group B received sit-up exercise treatment first. After 6 weeks of treatment and 7 days of washout, group A switched to sit-up exercise treatment and group B received electroacupuncture treatment for another 6 weeks.

Patients: In total, 54 simple obese women, with waist circumference (WC)>90 cm and body mass index (BMI)>30 kg/m(2), and who had not received any other weight control maneuver within the last 3 months.

Measurement: The measurements of body weight (BW), BMI and WC were performed at the beginning, 6, 8 and 13 weeks. The data at different time periods were compared and expressed as % reductions.

Results: Electroacupuncture (n=46) showed significant differences in the % reductions in BW (P=0.001), BMI (P=0.003) and WC (P=0.005) compared with sit-up exercise. At the end of 13 weeks, there were no significant difference between groups A (n=24) and B (n=22) in all the measurements. At the end of the study, groups A and B showed significant differences in the % reductions in BW (P=0.004; 0.001), BMI (P=0.003; 0.021) and WC (P< or =0.001; 0.001) compared with the initial values.

Conclusions: Electroacupuncture treatment is more effective than sit-up exercise in reducing weight and WC, making it an alternative treatment option for weight and WC control on obese women.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Composition*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Electroacupuncture*
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome