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Health Coaching Helps Facilitate Weight Management Goals

Posted Aug 23 2012 10:09pm
Posted on Aug. 22, 2012, 6 a.m. in Weight and Obesity
Health Coaching Helps Facilitate Weight Management Goals

With one-third of the American population obese, novel approaches to help people manage their weight have become a keen public health focus.  Health coaches have grown in popularity:  health coaches supplement treatment by providing ongoing support, accountability and information to promote behavior change between treatment visits. Health coaches can be professional health care providers, such as nurses or social workers; peers, or individuals currently facing the same health problem who coach one another to support behavior change; and mentors, or master coaches, who have previously and successfully faced the same health situation.  Tricia M. Leahey, from The Miriam Hospital at Brown University (Rhode Island, USA), and colleagues enrolled 44 participants in a group behavioral weight loss program that met for 12 times over the course of 24 weeks – half the amount of sessions of a traditional treatment plan. Groups met weekly for the first six weeks, biweekly for the following six weeks and monthly thereafter. The researchers randomly assigned individuals to work with one of three different types of health coaches: a professional (behavioral weight loss interventionist), peer (a fellow group member) or mentor (a successful weight loser). During the weeks where there were no group meetings, participants emailed their weekly weight, calorie and physical activity information to their coach and received feedback. All coaches were trained on appropriate coaching strategies and feedback delivery. While all three groups yielded clinically significant weight losses, participants guided by professional and peer coaches had the most success, losing more than 9% of their body weight on average, compared to just under 6% in the mentor group. At least half of the participants in the professional and peer coaching groups achieved a 10% weight loss, which research has shown can reduce the risk of a wide range of illnesses linked to obesity, including heart disease and diabetes. Only 17% of those in the mentor group accomplished this goal.  The study authors submit that: “These preliminary data suggest that combining a [reduced intensity group behavioral weight loss] program with health coaching may hold significant promise as a cost-effective obesity treatment paradigm.”

Tricia M. Leahey, Rena R. Wing.  “A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study Testing Three Types of Health Coaches for Obesity Treatment: Professional, Peer, and Mentor.” Obesity, 25 June 2012.

  
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28. Defend Against Atomic Pickpockets: Vitamin C
Antioxidant supplements (Vitamin A, C, E, and selenium) protect cells by neutralizing free radicals, atomic fragments that cause cellular destruction and produce metabolic waste.
Vitamin C raises "good" cholesterol (HDL), and prevents "bad" cholesterol (LDL) from oxidation, which subsequently prevents the build-up of athlerosclerotic plaques on the blood vessel wall that contribute to cardiovascular disease. In a study by University of California-Los Angeles School of Health, men who took vitamin C daily had a 45% lower risk of heart attack than men whose intake was less than the U.S. RDA.
 
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