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Food insecurity may make losing weight more difficult, even with an intense intervention

Embargoed news from Annals of Internal Medicine

American College of Physicians

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Below please find summaries of new articles that will be published in the next issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. The summaries are not intended to substitute for the full articles as a source of information. This information is under strict embargo and by taking it into possession, media representatives are committing to the terms of the embargo not only on their own behalf, but also on behalf of the organization they represent.

Food insecurity may make losing weight more difficult, even with an intense intervention

Abstract: https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-6326

URL goes live when the embargo lifts

Participants with obesity and food insecurity lost less weight than food secure participants with obesity over 24 months when following an intensive, lifestyle-based intervention for weight loss. These findings suggest that weight loss approaches that address both obesity and food insecurity are needed. Findings from a post hoc analysis of the PROPEL (Promoting Successful Weight Loss in Primary Care in Louisiana) study are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Food insecurity, or the lack of sufficient healthy food to sustain an active, healthy lifestyle, is associated with greater body weight in adults, especially in underserved populations. Researchers from Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, La., used data from the PROPEL study, which randomly assigned participants to a high-intensity, lifestyle-based intervention or usual care for weight loss and tracked progress over 24 months, to determine if food insecurity had an effect on weight loss outcomes. Participants' food insecurity was assessed using a brief questionnaire. Those with two or more affirmative responses were categorized as food insecure.

Over the course of the study period, the researchers assessed differences in body weight between food secure and food insecure patients, accounting for a variety of patient characteristics. At 24 months, participants randomly assigned to the intensive lifestyle intervention lost more weight than those in the usual care group regardless of food security status; however, the intervention seemed to be less effective among those who were food insecure. The mean absolute weight difference between the intervention and usual care groups was 5.2 kg among food secure patients and 2.7 kg among food insecure patients. The mean absolute weight difference between the intervention and usual care groups was 2.5 kg lower among food insecure patients than food secure patients.

According to the study authors, clinicians may want to screen patients with obesity for food insecurity. Effective weight loss programs will need to address this issue.

Media contacts: For an embargoed PDF, please contact Angela Collom at acollom@acponline.org. The corresponding author, Candice A. Myers, PhD, and can be reached through Lisa Stansbury at lisa.stansbury@pbrc.edu or Ted Griggs at ted.griggs@pbrc.edu.

Also in this issue:

Insomnia Update Sutton In The Clinic

https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/AITC202103090

Time to Speak Up Houbby Graphic Medicine

https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/G20-0059

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