Objective: The purpose of our retrospective database analysis was to describe and evaluate the outcomes of a weight loss intervention in a community medical wellness center.
Research Methods and Procedures: Four hundred eighteen overweight and obese adults entered the program between 2001 and 2004. Forty-seven percent completed the 6-month program designed using standards and recommendations established by the NIH, the American Dietetic Association, and the American Academy of Sports Medicine. Data analysis was limited to 198 participants (142 women, 56 men) completing the program.
Results: Individuals completing the 6-month program averaged a weight loss of 7.3% in men and 4.7% in women. Fasting lipids and blood glucose improved in both genders regardless of age. Outcomes including BMI and lipids improved in women regardless of menopausal status or hormone replacement therapy. There was a significant correlation between percentage weight loss and number of weekly counseling sessions attended and number of visits to the wellness center for exercise.
Discussion: Participants who complete a structured community-based weight management program can achieve significant weight loss and improvement in cardiovascular risk factors regardless of age, gender, or menopausal status. Our analysis suggests that national treatment guidelines/recommendations for weight management can be effectively implemented in a community medical wellness center. The relatively high drop-out rate associated with this program suggests the need to identify strategies and techniques to enhance adherence and completion of programs.