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Program Created by HMR and Offered at St. Joseph Health Ranked No. 1 for Fast Weight-Loss by U.S. News and World Report

Posted in: Accreditations

Highly-Structured Diet and Lifestyle Change Program Aims to Help Those with Weight-Loss Goals Get There Faster in the New Year Bryan, Texas, January 6, 2017 – A weight loss program offered at St. Joseph Health and created by HMR Weight Management Services (HMR) has just been ranked the No. 1 “Best Fast Weight-Loss Diet” in the 2017 Best Diets rankings released yesterday by U.S. News & World Report. It’s the second year in a row that HMR has earned the top spot in the category, which was added to the annual rankings list last year. St. Joseph Health began offering the HMR Program in 2016. “HMR’s highly structured diet and lifestyle change program is designed to help people lose weight quickly while learning the skills they need to keep it off,” said David Damian, M.D., medical director for the HMR Weight Management program at St. Joseph Health. “Fast weight loss without lifestyle change isn’t sustainable. Through the HMR Program here at St. Joseph, people learn realistic ways to incorporate new healthy behaviors into their everyday lives.” Get There Faster HMR programs achieve fast weight loss in a livable way by encouraging people to eat more and stay satisfied, which makes it easier to stick to the program in the short-term, and over the long haul. Users of the program can lose up to two pounds a week on this plan. Since May 2016, when St. Joseph Health began offering the program, participants lost an average of 28 pounds over a 12 week period. HMR focuses on three skill areas critical for weight-loss and weight maintenance: 1. How to make healthier food choices; 2. How to eat more fruits and vegetables; and, 3. How to increase physical activity. Research has shown that practicing these skills may also help reduce the risk factors for the development of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some types of cancer, and other chronic diseases. A common misconception is that losing weight quickly is not healthy or sustainable, and will just lead to future weight re-gain. However, numerous clinical studies, including those reported in two recent articles, demonstrate that fast weight loss is just as effective as slow weight loss when it comes to maintaining weight over the long term.

  • An article in the New England Journal of Medicine (2013) reviewed several myths about obesity, including the advantages of gradual weight-loss over rapid weight-loss for long-term success. Based upon their review of the data, the authors concluded that compared to slow weight loss, greater and faster initial weight loss is associated with similar weight loss at the end of long-term follow-up. Further, the recommendation to lose weight “gradually” might interfere with the ultimate success of some weight-loss efforts.
  • Results from a weight-loss study of more than 200 people published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology (2014) showed 81 percent of the rapid weight loss group achieved their target weight loss compared to 50 percent in the gradual weight-loss group, with no significant differences in weight regain. These results indicate that rapid weight-loss does not put individuals at risk for greater weight regain.  Furthermore, more rapid weight loss may motivate some individuals to stick with their diet and achieve better results long term.

The U.S. News & World Report Ranking Process During the ranking process, reporters and editors from U.S. News & World Report created in-depth profiles of 38 diets. A panel of nationally recognized experts on diet, nutrition, obesity, food psychology, diabetes and heart disease rated the diets on their effectiveness. To learn more about this program, call 979.690.4473 or visit and search “weight loss.” ### About St. Joseph Health Established in 1936, St. Joseph Health is a faith-based, not-for-profit health system committed to excellence and compassion in caring for the mind, body and spirit while creating healthier communities. St. Joseph Health is comprised of five hospital facilities across the Brazos Valley, including Regional Hospital, the region’s highest level trauma center. St. Joseph Medical Group operates more than a dozen primary and specialty care clinics around the region, offering expert care, closer to home. St. Joseph Health is a part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), one of the nation’s largest health systems. For more information, visit   About HMR Weight Management Services Corp. (HMR) HMR Weight Management Services (HMR), part of Merck’s Healthcare Services and Solutions business unit, specializes in improving the healthcare experience for patients, providers, and payers. HMR programs, available in person or at home, offer lifestyle education, a structured diet and an emphasis on long-term weight and health management. Since 1983, HMR programs have been available in hospitals, clinics, and medical centers across the country. For more information, visit      

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