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Eur J Clin Nutr. 1999 May;53 Suppl 2:S72-7.

A four week residential program for primary health care patients to control obesity and related heart risk factors: effective application of principles of learning and lifestyle change.

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Department of Social Medicine, University of Umeå, Sweden.



To test the short and long-term effectiveness of a four week residential program for primary health care patients to control obesity and related risk factors for cardio-vascular disease (CVD), especially blood pressure (BP).


Prospective clinical study, with follow up after 1 and 5 y.


Vindeln Patient Education Centre, Vindeln, and Department of Social Medicine, University of Umea, Sweden.


Approximately 2500 individuals, with two or more of the traditional risk factors for CVD, participated in the program. This report describes a subsample of 100 consecutive patients, 52+/-9 y, 53 men, with obesity and/or high BP.


Four week residential program with lectures and group discussions as well as practical sessions in smaller groups (meal preparations, physical exercise, etc). The patients were followed-up medically in their home area.


Weight and blood pressure.


Dramatic reductions of weight and, especially, of blood pressure (BP) occurred during the residential weeks, and the reductions were pronounced also after 1 y. After 5 y, the total mean weight among men with initial BMI > or = 30 kg/m2 was still 5 kg lower, and diastolic and systolic BP among those with hypertension was 15 and 20 mm Hg lower, respectively, than before the program.


The full-time participation in the residential program and the enrollment and commitment of the patients may explain the clinical outcome. A level of predisposition greater than that required of most weight- and BP-control programs was confirmed and a great preventive or therapeutic potential was indicated. The study illustrates an effective application of the Precede-Proceed model of health promotion planning.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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