THURSDAY, Sept. 15, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Demographic and clinical variables do not predict successful weight loss in a clinical structured weight management program for adults with obesity and type 2 diabetes, according to a study scheduled for presentation at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, held from Sept. 19 to 23 in Stockholm.

Lulwa Al-Abdullah, from the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom, and colleagues assessed the effectiveness of behavioral weight management programs to help patients with obesity lose weight. The analysis included 1,658 adult patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes referred to and attending the Glasgow Weight Management Service (2004 to 2014).

The researchers found that 20 percent of participants successfully lost >5 percent of body weight in the short term (over 16 weeks) and 12.1 percent lost >5 percent of their body weight over three years. The only clinical or demographic variable associated with short-term success was weight change in the first three sessions. Losing 0.5 percent weight in the first three sessions predicted short-term success with sensitivity of 90.4 percent and specificity of 53.6 percent (negative predictive value, 95.7 percent). Weight change in the first three sessions was also the only independent predictor of medium-term weight loss. Successful medium-term weight loss was predicted by losing 0.5 percent weight in the first three sessions with sensitivity of 89.9 percent and specificity 50.5 percent (negative predictive value, 97.3 percent).

“Currently, people are referred to weight management programs in a ‘one-size-fits-all’ model and, if they are struggling, they have no alternative other than to drop out,” a coauthor said in a statement. “By identifying those individuals for whom a program is not working early in the process, you can provide support and possibly alternative therapies before the person disengages from treatment.”

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