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Researchers Building a Better Weight-Loss Simulator Cont.
- Categorized in: Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Diabetes, HHS and USPHS, November 2011
Success of VA MOVE! Program Depends on Support of Management
For more than five years, VA has been encouraging veterans to lose weight and become more physically fit through its MOVE! Weight Management Program. A recently released evaluation of the program shows that its methods are successful, although sometimes facilities must overcome barriers to institute it in some patient populations. 1
Nearly 300,000 veterans have participated in MOVE! since 2006. While the program has found overall success among patients, the success of implementation at medical centers has varied. According to researchers using data collected during the second year of the program’s implementation, a facility’s success in implementation directly correlates with the support the program gets from management, the amount of resources devoted to it and the degree to which it fits with existing programs.
At VA facilities that showed high implementation of the program, managers helped to establish supportive practices and infrastructure by increasing program visibility, dedicating staff time and making it clear to service chiefs that the participation of their staff was expected.
Researchers found that none of the facilities they examined provided phone-based self-management support for patients, which is a foundational treatment component of the program. Staff at the facilities told researchers that they did not feel confident in their ability to help veterans over the phone.
As a result of this finding, VA’s National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (NCP), which originally developed MOVE!, is piloting a national call center to provide self-management support for veterans.
1: Damschroder LJ, Goodrich DE, Robinson CH, Fletcher CE, Lowery JC. A systematic exploration of differences in contextual factors related to implementing the MOVE! Weight Management Program in VA: A Mixed Methods Study. BMC Health Serv Res. 2011 Sep 30;11(1):248. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 21961925.
Compound Improves Health, Survival in Obese Mice
Obese mice lived healthier, longer lives after being treated with a synthetic compound found to improve liver, pancreas and heart function. The National Institute on Aging (NIA)-supported study has implications on the biology of aging and suggests that years of healthy life can be chemically extended, at least in an animal model.
The compound — SRT1720 — a patented molecule, activates the SIRT1 enzyme, which belongs to a class of enzymes called sirtuins that have been linked to the aging process and to dietary restriction. Scientists compared the health of middle-aged mice fed on a high-fat diet that were given a high dose, low dose or no dose of the compound.
While all mice on the diet gained weight, mice treated with a high dose of the compound lived an average 18% longer. These mice also had less fat accumulation on their livers and showed less insulin resistance. Also, mice given the high dose had a higher percentage of high-density lipoprotein, which has been associated with good cardiovascular health.
Researchers noted that it is too early to tell whether these results could be replicated in other animal models, much less in humans, and that further research is necessary before considering SRT1720 as a possible treatment for the diseases of human aging.
1, Minor, RK, Baur, JA, Gomes, AP, et al. SRT1720 improves survival and healthspan of obese mice. Sci. Rep. 2011; 1, 70; DOI:10.1038/srep00070
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