Introduction: Weight loss interventions have been studied extensively, but methodological limitations negatively affecting applicability in everyday clinical practice are a very common problem in these studies. Despite the fact that obesity is treated mostly in a primary care setting, studies that investigate weight loss interventions in a primary care setting are scarce. Our objective was to assess the effectiveness of a tailor-made weight loss intervention in achieving a clinically significant weight loss in overweight (BMI ≥ 27 kg/m²) women aged 50-60 years in a primary care setting.
Methods: As part of a randomized controlled trial on the effects of a tailor-made weight loss intervention and oral glucosamine sulphate on the incidence of osteoarthritis of the knee in 407 overweight women aged 50-60 years, we analysed the effectiveness of the weight loss intervention in achieving clinically relevant weight loss.
Results: At baseline, the mean body weight for all participants was 88.7 ± 13.2 kg, and the mean BMI was 32.4 ± 4.3 kg/m². The percentage of participants that lost ≥5 kg or 5 % of their baseline body weight was 14.8 versus 6.3 % (p = 0.012) at 6 months for the intervention group and the control group, respectively. At 12 months, this was 18.7 versus 14.9 % (p = 0.027). Mean weight gain at 6 months was -0.9 versus 0.9 kg (p < 0.001) for the intervention group and the control group, respectively. At 12 months, this was -0.6 versus 0.6 kg (p = 0.01). At 30 months of follow-up, no significant differences were found between both groups.
Conclusions: This weight loss intervention, which, at short notice, is easily applicable in everyday clinical practice, is effective in achieving clinically significant weight loss in overweight women aged 50-60 over a 12-month period. Long-term weight loss maintenance, however, occurred only marginally. Magnitude of the effect is comparable to that achieved in many other more intensive weight loss interventions.