Support Groups Result in Greater Overall Weight Loss

Los Angeles, CA -- (SBWire) -- 10/18/2013 --A new study released by the Baylor College of Medicine compared dieters engaged in Weight Watchers or other weight-loss support programs with those who were going through the process alone. The results showed that those engaged in support groups shed more overall weight, and kept it off longer, than those engaged in solo support.

Furthermore, the Weight Watchers-sponsored study concluded that the more frequently users engaged in these groups and took advantage of the various tools offered, the more weight they lost at the end of the program.

Study authors determined that programs like Weight Watchers assist participants in staying engaged, and provide encouragement and support through plateaus or fallbacks over just an initial push to lose weight from a physician, or even a personal goal. Weight Watchers proved to be the most supportive of these programs, but the key to success overall appeared to be having support and encouragement when the dieting program becomes difficult to follow.

The study observed six months of data on approximately 257 participants, and found those enrolled in Weight Watchers lost an average of 5 percent of their starting weight, while those who were not engaged in a program lost less than 1 percent of their starting weight. The more tools the program offered, and the more the participant took advantage of those tools, the more weight they lost overall.

This study shows that any form of social support, whether it’s from family, friends, or Weight Watchers type program or other group, can assist in making the kind of changes one requires to develop healthy habits. Social engagement is key in losing weight and becoming more active, and programs like Weight Watchers provide a positive environment to assist in affecting these changes. If looking to make changes in a nutritional lifestyle or become more physically active, a person should set goals themselves, but reach out socially for help in reaching those goals.

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