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“Take Charge” of Diabetes: Can Commercial Weight-Loss Program Help?


May 08, 2012  |  

UC San Diego Nutrition experts launch year-long study of participants with Type 2

Diabetes affects nearly 24 million people in the United States, most with Type 2 diabetes, a disease which is often coupled with obesity.  Concerned by the increasing number of overweight Americans, nutrition experts with the UC San Diego School of Medicine are launching Take Charge, a research study analyzing the effectiveness of a commercial weight-loss program on participants with Type 2 diabetes who have a BMI of 25 – 45.

Cheryl Rock
Cheryl Rock, PhD, RD
“We know that commercial weight loss programs can contribute to weight loss. Now we ask if they can have an impact on diabetes,” said Cheryl Rock, PhD, RD, professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the UC San Diego School of Medicine.  “We want to find out if participants using a weight loss program do better than those who receive individualized dietary counseling with a registered dietitian.”

Rock and her team will work with primary care physicians throughout the San Diego community to enlist potential participants.  “This is about the health of our entire community,” said Rock.  “The problem of obesity is so great in that we need help on all fronts: medical, surgical and pharmaceutical.  And we want to know if science-based commercial weight loss programs can contribute to solving this national problem as well.”

Take Charge Participants must:

  • Be 18 years old or older
  • Be overweight
  • Have Type 2 diabetes  
  • Be willing to participate for one year
  • Otherwise be in generally good physical and mental health
  • Agree to take part in the diet, exercise and lifestyle counseling program

Participants will be randomly assigned to one of three groups:

  • Group one will receive dietary counseling, including menu planning and exercise advice from a Registered Dietitian.
  • The other two groups will receive dietary counseling at a commercial facility and receive prepackaged meals coinciding with the assigned diet.
  • All study participants will receive follow up phone calls and/or emails from the study coordinator every few weeks throughout the course of the study. 
  • In addition, the investigators want to look at the effects of treatment on:
    • Feelings and quality of life
    • Waist circumference
    • Cardiovascular fitness

The costs of all study procedures, examinations, and medical care that may be delivered as part of this study will be provided at no cost. Participants will be compensated for travel-related costs.  This study is funded by Jenny Craig, Incorporated. For more information on participation, please contact study coordinator, Angela Leone, MS, RD, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, 858-822-4792 or

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Media Contact: Kim Edwards, 619-543-6163,

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