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Diabet Med. 1995 May;12(5):409-15.

The comparison of four weight reduction strategies aimed at overweight diabetic patients.

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Diabetes Centre, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, Scotland.


Four weight reduction strategies were investigated in a diabetic population who previously had shown little motivation to lose weight. Some 409 patients, body mass index 28-45 were invited to participate. Only 51% replied, although 22 patients (5.4%) lost > 3 kg by invitation alone. The study comprised 159 patients, randomly allotted to either regular clinic visits, behavioural group therapy, dexfenfluramine (30 mg d-1 for initial 3 months) or combined home and clinic visits. A further 58 patients were monitored as controls. At 3 months the best weight loss (intention to treat) was achieved using dexfenfluramine with mean weight losses of 1.6, 1.2, 3.4, and 1.7 kg, respectively, in each group. At 1 year weight losses were similar (1.2, 1.8, 2.8, 1.2 kg, respectively) but contrasted with a mean 1.2 kg weight gain in the controls. Some 38% lost > 3 kg on dexfenfluramine compared to 19-23% for the others. In those who completed the study, weight loss was similar with behavioural therapy (3 kg) or dexfenfluramine (3.2 kg). We conclude that intensive dietetic efforts can reverse the weight increase in the diabetic population although weight loss is minimal. Dexfenfluramine was most effective in the short term, behavioural therapy useful long term but only in those who remained within the group; home visits offered no advantage.

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