Meeting NewsPerspective

Weight Watchers plus diabetes education substantially improves glycemic control

NEW ORLEANS — Combination of a well-known weight-loss program plus diabetes education can improve weight loss as well as control of type 2 diabetes in adults with the disease, according to a presenter here.

“We know that current guidelines for diabetes recommend diabetes education and nutrition therapy, but it’s found that many patients get none and most get very, very little,” Patrick M. O’Neil, PhD, co-chair of the ObesityWeek Board of Managers and past president of The Obesity Society, said during his presentation. “One survey in the United States found that only 55% of people with diabetes reported having gotten diabetes education. We also know that moderate weight loss is also very important for control of type 2 diabetes and that losing weight even in the range of 5% leads to a very valuable improvement in HbA1c control.”

Patrick O'Neil
Patrick M. O'Neil

O’Neil and colleagues evaluated 563 adults with type 2 diabetes from 16 US research centers to determine the effects of Weight Watchers combined with telephone and email consultations with a certified diabetes educator (n = 279) compared with standard diabetes nutrition counseling and education on glycemic control and weight loss (n = 284). The trial was conducted for 12 months.

HbA1c decreased in the Weight Watchers group (-0.32%) compared with an increase in the standard care group (0.16%; P = .02).

Compared with the standard care group, the Weight Watchers group had significantly greater reductions in HbA1c from baseline at each follow-up. HbA1c less than 7% was achieved by more of the Weight Watchers group (23.8%) compared with the standard care group (13.6%; P = .004).

Weight decreased in both groups, but more of the Weight Watchers group lost 5% or more of their weight (34.3%) compared with the standard care group (18.1%; P < .001).

Compared with the standard care group, the Weight Watchers group had greater reductions in waist circumference (P < .001) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (adjusted P = .02). There were increases in HDL cholesterol (P < .001) and reductions in total cholesterol (P = .027), LDL cholesterol (P < .001), systolic blood pressure (P = .026) and diastolic BP (P < .001) in both groups.

The Weight Watchers program was effective for people with diabetes and resulted in a significantly greater improvement in glycemic control and weight loss compared with people receiving standard care,” O’Neil said. – by Amber Cox

Reference:

O’Neil PM, et al. Randomized controlled trial of a nationally available weight control program tailored for adults with type 2 diabetes. Presented at: ObesityWeek 2016; Oct. 31-Nov. 4, 2016; New Orleans.

Disclosure: O’Neil reports various financial ties with Medscape/WebMD, Novo Nordisk, Orexigen Therapeutics, Pfizer, Vindico CME and WWI.

NEW ORLEANS — Combination of a well-known weight-loss program plus diabetes education can improve weight loss as well as control of type 2 diabetes in adults with the disease, according to a presenter here.

“We know that current guidelines for diabetes recommend diabetes education and nutrition therapy, but it’s found that many patients get none and most get very, very little,” Patrick M. O’Neil, PhD, co-chair of the ObesityWeek Board of Managers and past president of The Obesity Society, said during his presentation. “One survey in the United States found that only 55% of people with diabetes reported having gotten diabetes education. We also know that moderate weight loss is also very important for control of type 2 diabetes and that losing weight even in the range of 5% leads to a very valuable improvement in HbA1c control.”

Patrick O'Neil
Patrick M. O'Neil

O’Neil and colleagues evaluated 563 adults with type 2 diabetes from 16 US research centers to determine the effects of Weight Watchers combined with telephone and email consultations with a certified diabetes educator (n = 279) compared with standard diabetes nutrition counseling and education on glycemic control and weight loss (n = 284). The trial was conducted for 12 months.

HbA1c decreased in the Weight Watchers group (-0.32%) compared with an increase in the standard care group (0.16%; P = .02).

Compared with the standard care group, the Weight Watchers group had significantly greater reductions in HbA1c from baseline at each follow-up. HbA1c less than 7% was achieved by more of the Weight Watchers group (23.8%) compared with the standard care group (13.6%; P = .004).

Weight decreased in both groups, but more of the Weight Watchers group lost 5% or more of their weight (34.3%) compared with the standard care group (18.1%; P < .001).

Compared with the standard care group, the Weight Watchers group had greater reductions in waist circumference (P < .001) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (adjusted P = .02). There were increases in HDL cholesterol (P < .001) and reductions in total cholesterol (P = .027), LDL cholesterol (P < .001), systolic blood pressure (P = .026) and diastolic BP (P < .001) in both groups.

The Weight Watchers program was effective for people with diabetes and resulted in a significantly greater improvement in glycemic control and weight loss compared with people receiving standard care,” O’Neil said. – by Amber Cox

Reference:

O’Neil PM, et al. Randomized controlled trial of a nationally available weight control program tailored for adults with type 2 diabetes. Presented at: ObesityWeek 2016; Oct. 31-Nov. 4, 2016; New Orleans.

Disclosure: O’Neil reports various financial ties with Medscape/WebMD, Novo Nordisk, Orexigen Therapeutics, Pfizer, Vindico CME and WWI.

    Perspective
    Susan Weiner

    Susan Weiner

    Healthy weight management may help people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes improve their overall nutritional status and blood glucose levels. Although diabetes education is recommended for all people with diabetes, it is not always available and is often underutilized. In addition to education and support from a diabetes educator, nutrition education from registered dietitian-nutritionist or scientifically structured group program may be beneficial for individuals with diabetes who are interested in improving their overall health status and blood glucose levels.

    Losing weight and maintaining the weight loss can be very challenging. Additional support provided by a nutritional professional or program that follows evidence-based principles may help people with diabetes improve self-care behaviors, which may lead to improved blood glucose levels. However, people with diabetes have individual needs, and those needs must be addressed in a weight-loss program. In other words, a “one size fit’s all” type of program may not be helpful for people who have diabetes and other comorbid conditions.

    Individualized or group programs should also emphasize the need for physical activity along with a healthy diet. Small and realistic goals that encourage improved life-style habits are recommended to set the stage and will allow the participant to feel accomplished.

    • Susan Weiner, MS, RDN, CDE, CDN
    • Endocrine Today Editorial Board member Owner, Susan Weiner Nutrition PLLC

    Disclosures: Weiner reports no relevant financial disclosures.

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