Can't make it into a dietitian's office? Phone and email counselling can be effective in helping people improve their diet and lose weight, say researchers from VU University Medical Center.
In this new study, 1,400 overweight adults were randomly assigned to either a control group which received no diet counselling, one that received phone counselling or a third group that had diet counselling via email.
The counselling included encouragement to keep fit and emphasized eating a healthy diet though no weight loss target was set.
After six months, people who received diet counselling by phone lost an average of 3.3 pounds (1.5 kg) more than those who received no counselling.
People who received counselling by email lost an average of 1.3 pounds (0.6 kg) more than the control group.
A small amount of weight loss can still make a big impact on risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other obesity-related diseases.
Talking to someone via phone and email can make people feel a bit more pressure to make small but positive changes in their diet and lifestyle, say the nutrition researchers.
This kind of counselling can also support more dramatic weight loss for overweight people.
Looking for diet counselling by phone and email? Check out nutrition counselling with Leslie Beck, RD.
This study was published in the January 9, 2009 issue of the journal BioMed Central.
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