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Many Saw ‘Meaningful’ Weight Loss From 12-Week Online Program

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Aug. 2, 2022 – People lost a “clinically meaningful” percentage of body weight 12 weeks after starting a fully automated online program developed by researchers at Brown University.

Primary care doctors offered the free obesity treatment program during routine care. Each week, people reported weight changes and activity and calorie consumption; attended online lessons; and received personalized feedback.

The 464 people who took part for at least 1 week lost an average of 5% of their body weight. And those who followed the plan all 12 weeks lost an average of 7%.

The researchers point out this short-term weight loss was achieved without any face-to-face counseling, which can limit weight management in busy primary care settings.

“Obesity is a highly stigmatized condition,” says lead investigator J. Graham Thomas, PhD.

People take part in the Rx Weight Loss program in the privacy of their own homes. He says this not only makes it more convenient but could be an advantage for people who feel uncomfortable managing their weight around others.

Ideally, health care providers could offer the online program as an opportunity to patients “as opposed to something punitive,” says Thomas, a researcher at the Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center at the Miriam Hospital in Providence, RI.

The study was published online July 27 in the journal Obesity.

In three previous controlled clinical trials led by the same research team, the weight loss program was linked to average weight losses of 4.2% to 5.8%. In the current study, the researchers were not directly involved, and Thomas says he was encouraged that the doctor-led initiative led to similar results.

About 11 Pounds Lost

Patients were offered the program during routine care by doctors in the Rhode Island Primary Care Physicians Corporation, which includes 100 doctors at 60 sites. To be eligible, people had to be 18 to 75 years old, have internet access, be fluent in English, and have a body mass index (BMI) of 25 kilograms per square meter (kg/m2) or greater.

The average age of the people in the study was 53, 70% were women, and the average BMI was 36.2.

A BMI of 25 or above means you are overweight, while those with a BMI of 30 or higher are considered obese.

The average 5.1% decrease in body weight at 12 weeks translated to just more than 11 pounds of average weight loss.

‘Very Encouraging’

The results of the study are “very encouraging,” says Gareth R. Dutton, PhD, who was not affiliated with the study.

Previous strategies had limits, he says.

“Fully automated interventions that have no staff contact with participants often achieve modest weight loss,” says Dutton, a professor of medicine and investigator in the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Weight loss programs recommended by primary care doctors have often performed even worse, he says.

“Weight loss interventions delivered through primary care are challenging because of many barriers, including limited resources and time,” says Dutton, who is also lead investigator of a study that aims to enroll 400 primary care patients to compare daily self-weighing with standard care.

Letting doctors and their staff refer patients to an evidence-based weight loss program has great potential, he says.

Looking to Improve Uptake

The Rx Weight Loss program was offered to 1,721 primary care patients overall.

When asked why only 26% of people offered the program agreed to participate, Thomas replied, “No matter how good the program is, It’s just never going to be the right time for a lot of people to add this to their lives, particularly given the last couple of years where folks are experiencing a lot of challenges and a lot of stressors.”

“Even though it’s an online program, addressing obesity always involves making substantial changes to eating and activity patterns,” he said.

Future Steps

The investigators plan to look into ways to get more people to take part in the program.

It is not yet available for widespread use by others, but that’s the goal. Thomas said they learned ways during the study to make the fully automated, online program easier for others to adopt.

Measuring any effect on weight loss at 1 year is the primary aim of the study. “I think we expect to find something similar to what we see in previous studies, which is that a certain amount of weight regain will be the norm” at 1 year, Thomas said.

“But a certain amount of weight loss and associated health benefits will persist, making it worthwhile even if, on average, some gradual regain occurs.”

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Original Post: webmd.com

Health Care

Congress Under Pressure: Colorado Officials Push for Cannabis Banking Reform

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With the end of Congress’ session just around the corner, marijuana advocates, stakeholders and lawmakers continue to push for marijuana banking policy change.

This time, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) joined forces with Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera (D), Attorney General Phil Weiser (D), Treasurer Dave Young (D) and Department of Public Safety (DPS) Executive Director Stan Hilkey in urging congressional leaders to revisit the issue, reported Marijuana Moment.

In a letter sent on Monday to both House and Senate leaders, Colorado officials focused on the impact which a bipartisan marijuana banking bill will have in terms of public safety and industry equity,

“The lack of safe banking and financial services for the cannabis industry in the State of Colorado has become a dire public safety issue for highly regulated cannabis businesses operating in compliance with state …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

Original Post: benzinga.com

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New Data Shows Weed Legalization a Boon for Real Estate, New Jobs and Tax Revenue

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A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank shed light on the economic impact marijuana legalization has had in recent years, reported Marijuana Moment. Policy changes on the state level have resulted in increased commercial real estate demand, as well as a surge in tax revenues while creating more jobs.

According to an analysis from the Kansas City arm of the Central Bank, which collected data from several states under its jurisdiction, the Tenth Federal Reserve District, the cannabis industry has become one of the main economic sectors positioned to grow substantially in the coming period.

“Overall, the marijuana industry has had a significant effect on the economies of Tenth District states in the initial years after legalization,” the report said. “The emergence of the industry has …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

Article: benzinga.com

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Will Missouri Legalize Cannabis? Amendment 3 Suffers Another Attack This Time by State NAACP

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Cannabis legalization efforts in Missouri are under attack once again, this time by The Missouri State Conference of the NAACP.

What Happened

The Missouri NAACP, breaking with chapters in the St. Louis area is urging its members to vote against Amendment 3 on the Nov. 8 ballot, reported the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch.

The group announced Thursday that it believes recreational marijuana legalization, as it is proposed under Amendment 3, would prevent minorities from entering the cannabis industry. 

“Marijuana possession should not be a constitutional crime. Additionally, for years now, Black people, other minorities, and people who have been criminalized by marijuana laws in the past have been unable to enter the medical marijuana market,” the Missouri NAACP wrote. “That is not right. In an effort to prevent the permanent exclusion of minorities from the cannabis industry in the state of Missouri, the NAACP calls upon every voter to reject the criminalization of marijuana possession, de facto racist regulation of the cannabis market, and the wool being pulled over our eyes by the supporters of Amendment 3.”

Under Amendment 3, the first “comprehensive” cannabis business licenses would be provided to existing medical marijuana companies. 

The state’s chapter highlighted that the amendment “does not increase the number of available full market licenses” and claims that giving “micro” business licenses to disadvantaged groups makes a “very limited” program. 

According to Nimrod “Rod” Chapel Jr., president of the Missouri NAACP, members agreed last week …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

Source: benzinga.com

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