An educational program approach to weight loss in the abdominally obese emphasizing low dietary fat intake
The composition of the diet has been recently researched as an important factor in controlling excess body fat, and thus obesity. Along with dietary modifications, it has been stressed to incorporate behavior modification and daily physical activity to promote weight loss. A comprehensive program incorporating all three components is the suggested treatment for long term weight maintenance. This study investigated a 12 week low dietary fat education program including behavior modification and physical activity to promote weight loss in the abdominally obese. There were eight experimental subjects and four controls. Measurements assessed were height, weight, percent body fat, body mass index, waist/hip ratio, ideal body weight, daily caloric intake, percent dietary fat intake, percent saturated fat intake, saturated fat gram intake, physical activity assessments and resting metabolic rate. Results showed significant differences between the experimental and control groups for calorie intake, body weight, ideal body weight and saturated fat gram intake at post-intervention. Percent of dietary fat intake decreased from baseline to follow-up in the experimental group, but did not reach significance. There was a 33% decrease in saturated fat gram intake from baseline to follow-up in the experimental group. A significant decrease in daily caloric intake occurred in the experimental group from baseline to post-intervention. The decrease in body weight could not be directly correlated to dietary fat intake, although they did have a tendency to move in the same direction. These data suggest the weight management program in this study was successful at decreasing body weight, daily caloric intake, dietary fat intake and saturated fat intake.The qualitative interview revealed obstacles faced by the subjects. The most common difficulties in adhering to the program included time constraints, travel, lack of a structured physical activity component, social pressures triggering eating behavior, feeling of guilt when prioritizing time for oneself and lack of continued support and education through class sessions. Individual motivational factors existed. Therefore, personalized attention and a continued support system would be beneficial as part of the treatment program for success in changing lifestyle behaviors.In conclusion, this data suggest an educational program encouraging decreased dietary fat intake, behavior modification and increased daily physical activity without a calorie controlled plan can promote weight management in the abdominally obese.