Phone counseling is found to be effective in weight management.
According to a new study conducted, researchers say that weight loss could be a phone call away.
The Dutch study says that phone and Internet counseling can help with weight control. Many people may not seek face-to-face counseling because it often requires travelling to a facility, which makes it harder for people with a busy lifestyle.
The study was led by Willem Van Mechelen of the Department of Public and Occupational Health/EMGO Institute of VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and published in the journal, BMC Public Health.
The Dutch study included 1,400 overweight workers each with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 25. They were split into three groups: a control group, a group receiving written programs and counseling over the phone, and another group which had access to an interactive website as well as counseling through email. Each group received brochures emphasizing the importance of diet and exercise. Measurements were taken at the beginning of the study, and again six months later.
Overall, each group lost weight and lowered their fat intake, but the group receiving counseling through the phone lost the most weight and had the best improvement in their diet. The phone and email groups lost more weight than the control group. The participants in the phone group also increased their physical activity.
Researchers concluded that counseling by phone and email is effective for weight management. “This could form the basis of improvements in weight management programmes for those unwilling to seek face-to-face counselling. Future studies should evaluate the cost effectiveness of such schemes,” said Van Mechelen.