Behavior therapy for obesity: where are we now?

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Purpose of reviewTo describe the short-term and long-term results of lifestyle modification for obesity.Recent findingsRandomized controlled trials, which compared different diet and activity interventions were reviewed. Studies that investigated the efficacy of new technologies to provide lifestyle modification, such as web-based delivery, also were examined.SummaryIn general, comprehensive lifestyle modification programs delivered in person induce a loss of approximately 10% of initial weight in 16–26 weeks of treatment. The use of portion-controlled diets, which typically involve the use of meal replacement products, was associated with significantly larger weight losses in the short term. In contrast, interventions delivered via the Internet induced a loss of approximately 5%. However, web-based programs appear to have potential in facilitating the continuation on patient-provider contact, which along with high levels of physical activity, appear to be key strategies for successful long-term weight control. Recent studies also have suggested that the combination of lifestyle modification with long-term use of pharmacotherapy holds promise for maximizing initial weight losses and promoting long-term maintenance.

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