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Dietitians Can Help in Achieving Weight Loss Goals

Classes with a registered practitioner better than weigh-ins to keep dieting on track

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Weight loss classes conducted by a registered dietitian are more helpful than frequent weigh-ins to keep weight loss plans on track, according to research published in the January issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Susan K. Raatz, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues conducted a study of 26 people with a baseline body mass index of 33.2 and a mean age of 43 years, who followed an 11-week weight-loss plan that included classes with a registered dietitian on topics such as energy restriction, dietary changes, exercise and behavior modification, and 22 semi-weekly weigh-ins with no dietitian present.

Overall the subjects lost a mean 3.8 kilograms during the course of the program. There was a significant correlation between the individuals' percentage weight loss and attendance at the classes, however, not with attendance at weigh-ins where there was no dietician present.

"Our results demonstrate that interaction with and education by a registered dietitian significantly improves weight-loss efforts, even when compared to frequent weigh-ins, another factor related to weight-loss success," the authors conclude. "Future studies are needed to translate successful initial weight-loss strategies, such as ours, into effective tools for long-term weight-loss success."

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