New ABT Therapy Helps People Lose More Weight And Maintain The Weight Loss

A part of the Mind Your Health trial, Thomas Wadden, PhD, FTOS, and Robert Berkowitz, MD, FTOS developed a form of therapy incorporating the Standard Behavioural Therapy (SBT) called the Acceptance-Based Behavioural Treatment (ABT).

Article by Sumayah Aamir

In a study conducted as a part of the trial, 190 participants who were overweight or obese were randomly assigned to SBT alone, or ABT. All the participants attended 25 treatment groups over a one-year period.

The treatment groups consisted of brief individual check-ins, skill presentations and a skill-building exercise. All interventionists were doctoral-level clinicians with experience delivering behavioral weight loss treatments.

The results obtained from the study showed that the participants who received ABT lost 13.3 percent of their initial weight at one year, compared to 9.8 percent weight loss at one year for participants who received SBT only.

This difference represents a clinically significant 36 percent increase in weight lost for those in the ABT group. The results also indicated that the likelihood of maintaining a 10 percent weight loss at 12 months was one-third greater for ABT with a rate of 64 percent versus 49 percent for ABT alone.

The developers of the therapy expressed that they were excited to share this new proven therapy with the weight-loss community.

Forman said that it was the randomized clinical trials to show that an alternative treatment results in greater weight loss than the gold standard, traditional form of behavioral treatment.

Steven Heymsfield, MD, FTOS, a spokesperson for The Obesity Society said that this study is one of the first of its kind, and offers promise of a new tool to add to the toolbox of treatments for overweight and obesity.

He said that these findings are a boon to clinicians, dietitians and psychologists as they add a new dimension to behavioural therapy that can potentially help improve long-term outcomes for people with obesity.

The findings of this study will be available in the October issue of Obesity, the scientific journal of The Obesity Society (TOS).

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