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New type of treatment achieves sustained weight loss

Acceptance-Based Behavioural Treatment (ABT) has helped more people lose weight and keep it off than Standard Behavioural Treatment (SBT) – which involves reduced caloric intake and increased physical activity. ABT attaches a higher personal value to weight loss that helps people adhere to diets and physical activity and a recent study, published in Obesity, has found it to be more effective that standard treatments. The study found that those who received ABT lost 13.3% of their initial weight after one year, compared to 9.8% of SBT participants.

Further to this the likelihood of maintaining a 10% weight loss at 12 months was one-third greater for ABT than SBT. ABT itself emphasises the principles of choosing goals from personal values, such as living a longer and healthier life, also the recognition that weight control behaviours will inevitably be uncomfortable. It also aims to increase awareness of how cues impact activity related decision making – including eating. 190 people took part in this study over a 1-year period and the results have been extremely promising so far, with many issues surrounding current treatments being related to the poor long-term sustainability of weight loss. However, as with all new findings, the results will need to be repeated in more studies in order for the treatment to be validated for use.


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