Behavioral weight loss treatment benefited overweight and obese women with fibromyalgia syndrome, reported Jennifer R. Shapiro, Ph.D., and her colleagues at the University of Albany, State University of New York.
In a 20-week pilot study, 31 overweight or obese Caucasian women with fibromyalgia syndrome lost an average of 9.2 lbs, or more than 4% of their initial body weight. Most who lost weight shed at least 5% of their initial body weight (J. Psychosomatic Res. 2005;59:275–82).
The intervention entailed small group meetings every week for 1.5 hours, along with use of guidelines for diet and exercise.
Weight loss treatment at week 20 was significantly associated with improvements in depression, anxiety, pain, body concerns, support, and quality of life, the investigators said. “The amount of weight loss, as opposed to both absolute weight and treatment participation in general, is a better predictor of pain improvement,” the researchers said.