Weight loss competitions help in battle of the bulge

May 2nd, 2009 - 2:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, May 2 (IANS) Weight-loss competitions can be a potentially successful weapon in winning the battle of the bulge.
These programmes can produce weight loss in large numbers of people at minimal cost, according to a new study by Brown University.

Rena Wing, professor of psychiatry at Brown University, and her colleagues drew these conclusions after evaluating Shape Up Rhode Island (SURI) 2007, a state wide Internet-based weight loss competition.

“We evaluated the results and showed that this is an effective way to reach large numbers of people,” said Wing.

SURI reduced the percentage of patients in the study who were obese from 39 percent to 31 percent. Researchers found that individuals who increased their activity the most achieved the best weight loss.

The study looked at 4,717 people who participated in SURI’s 2007 effort. Of the initial participants, 3,311 people or 70.2 percent completed at least 12 weeks of the study.

Participants who were heavier at the start of the programme lost more weight, as did those who generated greater jumps in their physical activity, said a Brown release.

The findings will be published in Obesity this month.

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