This post is from DiSH Lab intern Rachel:
The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP)’s group telephone sessions were originally for individuals wanting to lose weight to prevent diabetes. But a recent study at SUNY Upstate Medical University found that these sessions are effective with other groups as well, particularly obese patients suffering from metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome symptoms include central obesity, high blood fats, high blood pressure and abnormal blood sugar levels, putting patients at a high risk for cardiovascular disease and/or premature death. In the study, 257 obese patients with metabolic syndrome were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Over a period of two years, one group received periodic individual calls, and the other group received conference calls with up to eight patients. After one year, the weight loss results from both groups were equal, but after two years, the participants who had received the conference calls had lost more weight. This is just another example of how social support can be a huge factor in fighting illness and disease.