Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of triple therapy in treatment of simple obesity.
Subjects: Forty-five cases of simple obesity with a body mass index (BMI) above 30 kg/m2 and percentage of body fat more than 25% in males, and 30% in females were collected. Subjects were composed of 8 males and 37 females ranging in age from 16 to 70 years old with a mean age of 33.8 years.
Methods: The triple therapy for obesity included weekly auricular acupuncture, diet control and aerobic exercise counseling for eight weeks. The reduction in body weight and body fat were measured upon just completing the therapeutic course. The changes of body weight in follow-up at one month and one year later were also analyzed respectively.
Results: The results showed a 4.4 +/- 2.9 kg reduction in body weight and a 5.6 +/- 3.0% reduction in body fat after completing the treatment course. Five cases had their body weight reduced to within the normal range, 18 cases showed a marked effect (body weight reduced by more than 5 kg and body fat reduced more than 5%), 16 cases were considered effective (body weight reduced by 2-5 kg and body fat reduced by 1-5%), and 6 cases were considered to be ineffective (body weight reduced by less than 2 kg and body fat reduced by less than 1%). The rate of effectiveness was 86.7%. The rate of body weight rebound (weight regained more than 1.5 kg) was 6.7% and 18.9% one month and one year later, respectively. The effectiveness of weight reduction was significant correlated with the compliance of participants with each therapeutic method, but not with age. No special side effects were noted during or after the treatment except for two cases who had intolerable pain when receiving auricular acupuncture.
Conclusion: The triple therapy resulted in a satisfactory body weight reduction and a good maintenance of the target weight after treatment. Furthermore, more frequent aerobic exercise during the treatment course contributed greatly to body weight reduction and maintenance, as indicated by the correlation analysis.