Telephone Counseling Helps Weight Management

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Mar 04, 2009

Mind-Body-Spirit News

Are you looking for effective ways to help clients maintain weight loss? Telephone counseling is as effective as face-to-face counseling and more effective than education alone, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (2008; 168 [21], 2347–54).

Scientists from the University of Florida, Gainesville, wanted to identify ways that would help people in rural communities—who had limited access to healthcare services—to lose weight and keep it off. The researchers conducted a randomized trial involving 234 obese women, ages 50–75, who had completed a 6-month weight loss program and had lost an average of 22 pounds each. The women were assigned to one of three 6-month follow-up care programs: biweekly telephone counseling, biweekly face-to-face counseling or biweekly newsletters with weight management tips. After 6 months, women in the counseling groups had regained an average of 2.6 pounds, whereas women in the education group had regained an average of 8.1 pounds. What’s more, telephone counseling was less expensive than the face-to-face intervention, yet just as effective.

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About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at