Behavioral therapy programs for weight loss in adults

Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement
Record ID 32005000074
Authors' objectives:

This review aims to assess the available evidence on behavioral therapy programs for weight loss in adults.

Authors' recommendations: With regard to behavioral therapy programs for weight loss in adults, the ICSI Technology Assessment Committee finds: Behavioral therapy programs are generally safe unless the patient has an underlying psychological condition. Successful behavioral therapy programs have typically been conducted in academic settings and generally include the following components: a) an active phase (typically 6 months) during which modest weight loss can be expected, b) an on-going maintenance phase, and c) cognitive behavioral therapy (with sufficient time for individuals to learn these approaches). Behavioral therapy programs in a community setting are largely unregulated with no specific credentialing for program leaders. Individuals enrolled in behavioral therapy programs without incentives or food provision typically experienced weight losses of 2.5% to 10% of baseline weight following an active treatment phase of from 8 weeks to 6 months. (Conclusion Grade II) There are limited post-treatment follow-up data but the available evidence suggests that weight loss may be maintained or furthered at 6 to 12 months following treatment. (Conclusion Grade III) In programs involving incentives or food provision in addition to behavioral therapy, individuals typically experienced weight losses of 6.6% to 13.7% after 6 months. In programs that actively continued treatment for 18 months, further weight losses were not observed. At 12 months post-treatment, weight losses had been reduced to 1.7% to 8.6% of original body weight. (Conclusion Grade II) Many of the behavioral therapy programs did not choose to assess health outcomes. The available evidence indicates that blood pressure and lipid levels are improved following treatment. State anxiety, trait anxiety, and depression scores have typically improved but differences between treatment groups or between treatment and control groups have generally not been significant.
Authors' methods: Review
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2005
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: United States
MeSH Terms
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Diet
  • Obesity
  • Weight Loss
Organisation Name: Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement
Contact Address: 8009 34th Avenue South, Suite 1200, Bloomington, MN, USA. Tel: +1 952 814 7060; Fax: +1 952 858 9675
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Copyright: Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI)
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.