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International Health Insurance News: Losing weight 'needs multi-pronged approach'

Expat insurance policyholders who are trying to diet may wish to attempt a comprehensive approach, rather than simply reducing their calorie intake.

Weight Watchers head of dietetics and heath policy Zoe Hellman asserted a combination of group support, assistance for people to change their habits, physical activity and healthy eating is more likely to produce success than traditional approaches.

Meetings are particularly useful, as independent researchers have found that the more of these a person goes to, "the more weight they lose", she said.

The representative claimed "intensive support" is therefore one of the benefits of this brand when compared to what is provided by health-care services.

Many people think "it's all about what you eat" and neglect to consider these other elements, but men and women "are more likely to fail" if they do not incorporate other aspects into their regime.

Lifestyle changes are necessary if people wish for their weight loss to remain in the long-term, although diet and exercise are still very important, she noted.

The company has existed for almost 50 years and its methodology "has never changed", Ms Hellman declared.

It is consistent in the 30 countries the organisation operates from and has particularly good outcomes, she continued.

A study led by Dr Susan Jebb of the UK Medical Research Council Human Nutrition Research unit in Cambridge and published in The Lancet found people who use Weight Watchers lose around twice as many pounds as those receiving standard care.

The analysis of 772 overweight individuals in Germany, the UK and Australia found those in the commercial programme reduced their weight by around 5.1kg, whereas the participants receiving standardised care lost 2.2kg.

Furthermore, 61 per cent completed the Weight Watchers assessment, compared to 54 per cent in the alternative treatment.

This research "underscores what we know already", demonstrating that at "such a scale", people who use this service achieve "clinically significant weight loss", Ms Hellman stated.

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