A multidisciplinary approach to weight management

Morton, B. J.
December 2005
Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition;2005 Supplement, Vol. 14, pS106
Academic Journal
Background -- Obesity is a growing problem in Australia, in the year 2000, 67% adult males and 52% adult females were either overweight or obese. A weight loss of 5-10% body weight can result in significant health benefits. Successful long term weight loss programs include behavioural strategies, eating diet low in fat, frequent self monitoring of body weight and food intake and high physical activity. These strategies formed the basis of The Healthy Weight Management Program at Ballarat Health Services for overweight people for overweight and obese people with chronic health conditions. Objective -- To treat overweight and obese patients who have two or more co morbitities, with a multidisciplinary group program. Design -- A 12 month program was offered with an initial phase being a 6 week course covering diet, lifestyle and behavioural change and exercise. It was presented by a dietitian, psychologist and exercise therapist. The weekly program lasted 2 1/2 hours with 1 hour spent in a gym program suited to individuals needs. Patients were expected to keep a food and activity diary during the 6 week period. The group was then followed up at week 10, 16, 26, and 52 where a review of diet, exercise and motivation took place as well as measurements. Outcomes -- The average weight loss over the 12 month period was 3.2kg which was 3.3 % of initial body weight. During the first 6 months the average weight loss was 4.9kg, which is 5.25% of initial body weight. Conclusion -- To achieve further weight loss or maintenance of weight loss in the last 6 months of the program more regular follow up and support is required. Benefits of the multidisciplinary approach included the establishment of regular activity in people who were initially unable to exercise, a feeling of increased self esteem and control over body weight. The program continues as the primary method of weight management at Ballarat Health Services.


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