September 04, 2005

Successful Weight Control for Antipsychotic-Treated

Taking antipsychotics can sometimes lead to weight-gain, which is something that most people would like to avoid. A behavioral weight control program was set up to examine whether it would be effective in helping antipsychotic-treated patients to lose weight that they had gained due to antipsychotics.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center put the study together, which consisted of going on the Stoplight Diet for 12 weeks. The participants were 35 psychiatric outpatients, with a body mass index of 30 or higher. The Stoplight Diet organizes foods into 3 categories, red, yellow, and green. Green foods have no limit on them, yellow foods should be eaten in moderation, and red foods are essentially the foods that are unnecessary to one's survival, but can be eaten in extreme moderation (candy, icecream, etc.).

The subjects also wore pedometers which are instruments that register the amount of steps taken. They were all encouraged to progressively increase the amount of walking they did to 10,000 steps. There were "standard behavioral techniques" used to help participants change their eating and activity habits.

"In all, 29 (83%) patients completed the treatment, among whom the average weight loss was 5.04 pounds. In addition, patients showed improvements in eating behaviors, levels of activity, and quality of life. At the 3-month post-diet follow-up, participants had lost a significant 3.2% of their initial body weight, at a total average of 7.14 pounds. This suggests that lengthening the duration of contact with the program could serve to enhance weight loss and maintenance, the team says in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry" (

The participants medical charts were examined 10 months prior to their participation in the study. The effects of the program were looked at over a period of 12 months. The results showed that a behavioral weight control program was effective for outpatients taking antipsychotics.

Original Source: Behavioral weight control successful for antipsychotic-treated patients. September 2, 2005.

This research study was published in: J Clin Psychiatry 2005; 66: 1058–1063.


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