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News Release

Joslin Study Shows Short-Term Weight Loss Program Works Long-Term

SAN FRANCISCO – June 7, 2008 – Researchers from the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston have shown for the first time that patients with diabetes who enrolled in a short-term weight management program were able to maintain the weight loss they achieved during the program on their own long-term.

A study presented today at the American Diabetes Association’s 68th Scientific Sessions showed patients with diabetes enrolled in the Weight Achievement and Intensive Treatment (Why WAIT) program lost on average 24.6 pounds or 10.3 percent of their initial body weight during the 12-week program.  At the conclusion of a one-year of follow-up period, the average weight loss was 18.2 pounds or 7.6 percent of initial body weight.
“People have been waiting to see a longer term result of this novel program,” said Osama Hamdy, M.D., Ph.D., director of the clinical obesity program at Joslin and the study’s lead investigator. “Most people think that positive results of clinical trials around weight reduction in people with diabetes can not be replicated in the real world and cannot give similar long-term results. This is going to change the way we treat diabetes and encourage us to move toward weight-based diabetes management rather than adding more medications.”
Why WAIT is a 12-week multidisciplinary diabetes weight management program designed for clinical practice and is mostly covered by insurance. The study followed 85 participants during the 12-week program and for a year afterwards when they were on their own.

55 percent of participants continued to lose weight over the course of the follow-up period and maintained excellent diabetes and blood pressure control on less medications.  In addition, according to Hamdy, patients saved on average $561 per year on diabetes medications alone.
The Why WAIT program included a change in diabetes medications to enhance weight reduction, structured dietary intervention with fewer than 40 percent of daily calories from carbohydrates and 30 percent of calories from protein and meal replacement drinks, an exercise program with an emphasis on strength training and weekly educational and support sessions.

This talk is one of 87 presentations to be delivered by Joslin scientists at the ADA’s Scientific Sessions, Friday, June 6, through Tuesday, June 10 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, CA. The session, “Obesity-Pathogenesis and Treatment,” is scheduled for Saturday, June 7 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. PDT. [Abstract Number 98-OR: “One Year of Follow up after Completion of 12-Week of Multidisciplinary Diabetes Weight Management Program Using the Why WAIT Intervention Model in Routine Diabetes Practice”]