What to Look For in a Weight-Loss Program

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Before signing up for a medically supervised weight-loss program, ask the following questions to evaluate whether it will meet your personal needs and goals:

• What are the qualifications of the health-care professionals on staff? Ideally, programs for people with diabetes should have an endocrinologist on staff, as well as registered dietitians and mental health-care professionals.

• What medicines, if any, are prescribed? Are weight-loss medicines part of the program? Are they optional? Also, since many diabetes drugs can contribute to weight gain, will the program staff be able to counsel you on the medicines you’re already taking for blood glucose control?

• Does the program have an educational component? Supervised weight-loss programs should include educational sessions to help participants adopt healthy lifestyle changes – not just teach them how to count carbohydrates or calories.

• How does the program help participants manage their overall health, including their diabetes, while also losing weight?

• How are participants monitored in the long term? What is the success rate of participants maintaining their weight loss after one year and two years? People who participate in programs with in-person follow-up sessions (often including weigh-ins) tend to keep the weight off longer.

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