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When It Comes to Weight Loss, Telephone Counseling Is as Effective as Face-to-Face Doctor's Visits


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(OPEN):
IMPORTANT NEWS, IF YOU'RE ON A DIET:  A NEW STUDY PUBLISHED IN "ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE" FOUND THAT TELEPHONE COUNSELING IS JUST AS EFFECTIVE AS SEEING YOUR DOCTOR, FACE-TO-FACE.  THE STUDY COMPARED FIVE METHODS OF LIFESTYLE-MODIFICATION PROGRAMS, FOR PATIENTS TAKING THE WEIGHT-LOSS DRUG "SIBUTRAMINE" ["SIH-BYOO-TRAH-MEEN"]STUDY AUTHOR, DOCTOR ANDRES DIGENIO [SOFT "G"], SAYS THE KEY IS LIFESTYLE MODIFICATION...

(DIGENIO):
"PHYSICIANS MIGHT BE ABLE TO EASILY PRESCRIBE A DRUG, FOR WEIGHT LOSS.  BUT, IT'S GOING TO BE VERY HARD FOR THEM TO PROVIDE COMPREHENSIVE LIFESTYLE COUNSELING.  AND, THAT'S WHY WE THINK THIS STUDY WAS SO IMPORTANT--BECAUSE WE OFFER ALTERNATIVE WAYS OF DELIVERING LIFESTYLE COUNSELING THAT COULD BE DELIVERED BY PRIMARY-CARE-PRACTICE OFFICES.
"

(BRIDGE):
DOCTOR JANINE KYRILLOS IS A CLINICIAN SPECIALIZING IN WEIGHT LOSS; SHE SAYS SUPPORT IS CRUCIAL, FOR THOSE TRYING TO MAKE SIGNIFICANT LIFESTYLE CHANGES...

(KYRILLOS):
"I THINK FREQUENT COUNSELING AND SUPPORT IS ESSENTIAL, FOR LONG-TERM BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION:  YOU CAN TAKE A PILL, AND HOPE THAT IT'S GONNA BE A QUICK FIX.  BUT, IT'S NOT ALL THAT HELPFUL IN THE LONG RUN--AND PEOPLE END UP GOING BACK TO OLD BEHAVIORS.
"

(CLOSE):
THE STUDY LOOKED AT NEARLY 400 "OBESE" PATIENTS--DEFINED AS A B-M-I OF 30 OR GREATER.  STUDY RESULTS SUGGEST THAT TELEPHONE COUNSELING IS A VIABLE AND EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVE TO MORE-EXPENSIVE--AND LESS-CONVENIENT--FACE-TO-FACE COUNSELING.



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