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.”
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
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.