Weight loss competitions prove effective in fight against obesity, shows a new study.
The research team led by Rena Wing from Brown University evaluated the Shape Up Rhode Island 2007 weight loss competition developed by Indian origin scientist Rajiv Kumar a medical student at Alpert Medical School could successfully lose weight at minimal cost.
"We evaluated the results and showed that this is an effective way to reach large numbers of people," said Wing.
Shape Up Rhode Island reduced the percentage of patients in the study who were obese from 39 percent to 31 percent.
The researchers found that individuals who increased their activity the most achieved the best weight losses.
The study looked at 4,717 people who participated in Shape Up Rhode Island's 2007 effort, which Kumar designed to feature team competition in an effort to encourage more exercise and weight loss.
They found that team-based weight loss competition could promote modest weight loss in large numbers of people.
The authors also suggest possible improvements, such as the inclusion of diet and exercise education, teaching ways to change behaviour or offering access to health coaches.
The study appears in journal Obesity.