New Research from Leading Medical School Shows 100 Pound Weight Loss Possible Without Surgery - Lifestyle Change Brings Dramatic Results

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Although bariatric surgery is often recommended as the treatment of choice for individuals with severe obesity, results from a new study of over 1000 patients in the HMR Program for Weight Management show that an intensive behavioral treatment is an effective intervention, with substantially less risk than bariatric surgery.

Although bariatric surgery is often recommended as the treatment of choice for many individuals with severe obesity [body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above, or those who need to lose approximately 100 pounds], newly published research shows there is a viable alternative. Results from a study of over 1,000 participants in the HMR Program for Weight Management™ (a comprehensive weight-loss program offered in leading hospitals and medical centers across the country) indicate that an intense behavioral treatment is an effective intervention for severely obese individuals, and is associated with substantially less risk than bariatric surgery.

The research, appearing in the advanced online publication International Journal of Obesity July 2006, was led by James W. Anderson, MD, Professor of Medicine and Clinical Nutrition at the University of Kentucky, and Medical Director for the HMR Program at the University of Kentucky. Results for 1,100 people who attended the 12-week educational program (“Completers”) showed an average weight loss of 77 pounds. 25% of the group lost 100 pounds or more – for an average weight loss of 137.4 pounds. Moreover, patients who participated in the HMR Program were able to maintain a significant portion of that weight loss (between 50 and 90 pounds, 1 1/2 - 2 years later.)

Patients lost weight using HMR meal replacements (low-calorie, portion-controlled shakes and entrees) and in some cases, additional fruits and vegetables. They also attended weekly classes at HMR clinics where they learned and practiced specific lifestyle skills, including daily physical activity. In addition, patients received individual coaching, support, and follow-up via phone calls with trained health educators.

According to Dr. Anderson, “The response to this lifestyle intervention can be compared to bariatric surgery, but without the associated risks.” The reported overall surgical mortality rate is around 1%. Approximately 20% of those having surgery experience significant complications.1,2 Dr. Anderson adds, “Weight loss for all patients completing HMR’s 12-week behavioral program is similar to that reported for adjustable gastric banding, with a much lower mortality and adverse event rate. ”

“Not only are people losing weight through the behavioral intervention, they are learning and practicing healthy lifestyle behaviors, which makes it more likely they will continue these healthy behaviors long-term, something surgery alone does not provide,” says Dr. Anderson.

The HMR Program for Weight Management is offered at over 300 medical centers across the country. Diet options are available for those wanting to lose 10 – 200+ pounds, including the new HMR at Home® with home delivery of weight-loss foods and support materials. For more information, visit or call 1-800 – 418-1367.

1,2 Ann Intern Med 2005; 142:547-559, Ann Intern Med 2005;142:525-531


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Sharyn Klaiman
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