alexa Treatment of morbid obesity in inner-city women.
Reproductive Medicine

Reproductive Medicine

Gynecology & Obstetrics

Author(s): Raghuwanshi M, Kirschner M, Xenachis C, Ediale K

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OBJECTIVE: To explore the use of the very-low-calorie formula diet (VLCD) in the indigent population of Newark, NJ, with the goal of achieving 10% weight loss within a relatively short period of 10 weeks. RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES: We accepted 131 morbidly obese indigent women into our study program. The study was limited to women only and the average starting weight was 292.3 +/- 5.9 lbs (+/- SE; 50.3 +/- 0.9 body mass index [kg/m(2)]). We used three treatment paradigms: total cost-free program for 10 weeks; cost-free, but compliance requirements; and a weekly charge of $25. The results obtained were compared with two control populations: women enrolled during the same recruitment period in a comparable suburban VLCD program and a historical control population of suburban women treated from 1985 through 1995. RESULTS: In group A (total cost-free), 79% of patients completed the 10-week program, but only 18% of patients achieved the goal of 10% weight loss. In group B when attendance and weight loss requirements were imposed, the dropout rate accelerated such that only 37% of patients completed the 10-week course, and 16% of the women were successful with their weight loss. In group C, imposing $25/wk financial outlay also accelerated dropouts but had little effect on weight loss success, which was 10% of the starting group. By comparison, the suburban patients and the historical control group exhibited 67% and 76% attendance rates after 10 weeks, and 33% and 55% success rates, respectively, in achieving the weight loss goal. DISCUSSION: We conclude that inner-city patients exhibit great interest in weight loss when financial barriers are removed. Successful weight loss was achieved in 10% to 18% of patients using the VLCD approach, approximately one-half of that obtained in affluent suburban women. Imposing financial or compliance restrictions to the inner-city patients served only to enhance dropouts.

This article was published in Obes Res. and referenced in Gynecology & Obstetrics

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