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Prescribing Advice for GPs

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Portion control measures aid weight loss

The Archives of Internal Medicine has published the results of a randomised controlled study into a commercially available portion control plate on weight loss in a cohort of patients with type 2 diabetes.

The study recruited 130 obese patients with type 2 diabetes (including some on insulin). The participants were randomised to standard dietary advice in the control group or daily use of a portion control plate in the intervention group. The study ran for 6 months and percentage reduction in body weight was assessed.

Patients in the intervention group lost an average of 1.8% body weight (SD ±3.9%) while those in the control group lost 0.1% (SD ±3.0%). The difference was statistically significant (p=0.006). In addition to this finding more patients in the intervention group required a dose reduction of their diabetes medications (26.2% vs. 10.8%, P = .04).

The authors conclude that, "the portion control tool studied was effective in inducing weight loss". They also state that the weight loss achieved allowed patients to decrease their hypoglycaemic medications without sacrificing glycaemic control.

Action: Clinicians can be confident in advising patients to use portion control measures as an aid to weight loss. Commercially available plates are an option for patients (at their own cost) or perhaps a more practical approach is to simply use a smaller plate.

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