Obese need more than diet advice

GPs have been urged to focus weight management services on enabling overweight patients to make behavioural changes, rather than giving them advice on diet and exercise alone, UK researchers say.

Researchers at the University of Hertfordshire were due to present findings this week that, at a population level, advice-based interventions do not work because people are unable to change their behaviour.

Additional interventions that help people break habitual patterns of behaviour improve the success of weight-loss advice, the research found. The researchers tested interventions such as changing a route to work or around a supermarket.

Among a sample of adolescent girls, 75 per cent were able to reduce their BMI when given interventions to make their behaviour more flexible, compared with 25 per cent of those on diet and exercise alone.

tom.moberly@haymarket.com

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