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Efficacy of Commercial Weight-Loss Programs

Annals of Internal Medicine, April 7, 2015

Gudzune, et al

Program Weight Loss at 1 year Monthly Cost
Weight Watchers 2.6% $43
Jenny Craig 4.9% $570
Nutrisystem 3.8% $682
Optifast 4.0% $665
Atkins 2.9% Book for $10
MD Weight Management 24%* $450 + meal replacements

* 1993 and 2003 studies showed total body weight loss of 26% and 23%, respectively.

2014 Patient Results

  • Sample of 58 patients.  Average enrollment of 6 months.

  • BMI average decreases by 8 points
  • A1c average decrease of 1.3% for diabetics
  • LDL average decrease of 29 points for patients with high cholesterol
  • Systolic BP average decrease of 25 mm Hg for patients with high blood pressure

These outcomes are highly consistent with 2003 and 1993 program study findings.

Medications Discontinued for 58 Patients

MDWM Data: March – Dec 2014

Rxs Discontinued Rx Dosage Reduced by ½
Hypertension 26 6
Diabetes 10 2
High Cholesterol 10 1
Reflux 4
Sleep Apnea 2
Total 52* 9

* 20 of 52 (~40%) medications were stopped on Day 1 of the program.

Outcome (2003 Completed Study)

Sample of 58 patients. Average enrollment of 6 months

Start Finish Change
Weight (lbs) Women (n=64)
Men (n=19)
274
321
213
248
-61
-73
Body Mass Index Women
Men
46
47
36
37
-10
-10
Patients starting with High Blood Pressure (mmHg) 146/92 124/79
Patients starting with High Cholesterol (mg/dL) 256 193
Patients starting with High Glucose (mg/Dl) 217 107

Projected Prescription Drug Savings

Group Practice Journal, April 2015

Obesity Epidemic by Paull-Forney, et al.

  • Studied effects of moderate weight loss on changes in medication use for treatment of Diabetes, Hypertension, High Cholesterol
  • Average reduction in Diabetes medication cost per-patient-per-day were $5.95 or ~$2200/year in reduced Diabetes medication costs
  • Per-patient-per-day Hypertension and High Cholesterol drug costs were reduced 42% and 28%
  • Data showed 54% reduction in annual medication costs overall per year for weight loss programs far less effective than MD Weight Management.