HealthDay News — Intensive behavioral therapy (IBT) produces clinically meaningful weight loss in a primary care setting, which is enhanced in combination with liraglutide, according to a study published online Feb. 24 in Obesity.

Thomas A. Wadden, Ph.D., from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues conducted a 56-week randomized trial involving individuals with obesity who received liraglutide 3.0 mg or placebo (142 and 140 participants, respectively) as an adjunct to IBT delivered in a primary care setting.

The researchers found that mean weight loss at week 56 was 7.5 and 4.0 percent for liraglutide plus IBT and placebo plus IBT, respectively (estimated treatment difference, 3.4 percent). Compared with placebo, significantly more individuals on liraglutide achieved weight loss ≥5 percent (61.5 versus 38.8 percent; odds ratio, 2.5), >10 percent (30.5 versus 19.8 percent; odds ratio, 1.8), and >15 percent (18.1 versus 8.9 percent; odds ratio, 2.3). Liraglutide plus IBT was well tolerated; no new safety signals were identified.

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“Registered dietitians, health counselors, and other professionals could be trained to deliver IBT independently, which would help expand access to this critical intervention and, ultimately, help the millions of Americans who struggle with obesity and its associated health complications,” Wadden said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to Novo Nordisk, which manufactures liraglutide and funded the study.

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