Reviewed by Michael Gill, B. Sc.
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Weight Management Interventionfor Obesity

Freeport, IL
18 - 75
All Sexes
This research is to expand a virtual weight loss and weight maintenance program to rural counties of Illinois. The program uses dietary and lifestyle modifications for adults with obesity. The EMPOWER weight loss program has proven to be effective in 3 previous trials. In this research, we target a rural participant population. Individuals in rural locations are more likely to be affected by obesity and have unique barriers to weight loss related to geographic isolation including access to health care, preventative care, grocery stores, social networks, internet, and cell service.
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UIUC Extension (+2 Sites)
25 Weight Loss Clinical Trials Near Me

What Are Weight-loss Clinical Trials

Health practitioners commonly advise their patients to lose weight. The CDC found that nearly half of the adults in America tried to reduce their weight in the last twelve months. Yet obesity is on the rise, increasing from 30.5% in 199 to 41.9% in 2020 in the US population.

Consequently, weight-loss is studied in clinical trials look at:

  • Why do people gain weight

  • How can people be better supported to maintain their weight loss

  • If there are medications that could help the brain’s control of appetite

  • Looking at the impact of physical activity

  • If various techniques can help a person lose weight

Why Is Weight-loss Being Studied Through Clinical Trials?

Weight-loss is studied because of obesity’s correlation to other adverse health factors (such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes).

However, as UCLA researchers and other experts have long noted: diets don’t work. Thus, clinical trials examine how drugs and other therapies can help reduce hunger signaling, enabling better appetite regulation.

For instance, there have been many trials, including one by researchers at Inje University in Seoul, Korea, examining the role of oxytocin in weight loss and weight management. However, while an intranasal dose of oxytocin has provided promising results, most studies have focused on males.

What Are The Types Of Treatments Available For Weight-loss?

According to the Mayo Clinic, treatment to lose weight is usually a combination of:

  • Dietary changes
  • Increased exercise and activity
  • Behavior changes, including possibly needing counseling
  • Medication

What Are Some Recent Breakthrough Clinical Trials For Weight-loss?

2023: SURMOUNT-1, Tirzepatide – Researchers for Eli Lilly’s conducted a phase 2 double-blind, randomized trial with over 2,539 adults with a BMI of 30+. For 72 weeks, participants not being given the placebo received a weekly dose of tirzepatide of either 5mg, 10mg, or 15mg.

Patients in the higher dosages lost an average of 52 pounds. In addition, the drug was combined with a diet and exercise program. Those on the placebo but using the same exercise and eating program lost an average of 5 pounds.

2021: Semaglutide – In a study funded by Astellas Pharma, researchers from around the world, including from the University of Liverpool and University College London Center for Obesity Research, examined if adults could lose weight when administered a once-weekly semaglutide dose of 2.4mg.

The double-blind trial involved 1,961 participants. Those given semaglutide had a -14.9% body weight change, whereas the placebo had only a -2.4% change.

2018: SMART Pivotal Trial: Fifteen hospitals in the US participated in testing the Oblon Intragastric Balloons. The Oblong uses gas instead of saline. Of the 711 subjects, 387 received the Obalon Balloon or Sham Device. Participants were then put on a diet and exercise program. Those who received the Obalon lost twice as much as those given a Sham.

About The Author

Michael Gill preview

Michael Gill - B. Sc.

First Published: October 9th, 2021

Last Reviewed: January 5th, 2023