Modifying diet and exercise in multiple sclerosis (MoDEMS): A randomized controlled trial for behavioral weight loss in adults with multiple sclerosis and obesity.

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DOI: 10.1177/13524585231213241


BACKGROUND: Obesity is a risk factor for developing multiple sclerosis (MS) and MS-related disability. The efficacy of behavioral weight loss interventions among people with MS (pwMS) remains largely unknown.

OBJECTIVE: Examine whether a group-based telehealth weight loss intervention produces clinically significant weight loss in pwMS and obesity.

METHODS: Seventy-one pwMS were randomized to the weight loss intervention or treatment-as-usual (TAU). The 6-month program promoted established guidelines for calorie reduction and increased physical activity. Anthropometric measurements, mobility tasks, self-report questionnaires, and accelerometry were used to assess changes at follow-up.

RESULTS: Mean percent weight loss in the treatment group was 8.6% compared to 0.7% in the TAU group (p < .001). Sixty-five percent of participants in the intervention achieved clinically meaningful weight loss (⩾ 5%). Participants in the treatment group engaged in 46.2 minutes/week more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity than TAU participants (p = .017) and showed improvements in quality of life (p = .012). Weight loss was associated with improved mobility (p = .003) and reduced fatiguability (p = .008).

CONCLUSION: Findings demonstrate the efficacy of a behavioral intervention for pwMS and obesity, with clinically significant weight loss for two-thirds of participants in the treatment condition. Weight loss may also lead to improved mobility and quality of life.

Journal Title

Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England)





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MeSH Keywords

Adult; Humans; Multiple Sclerosis; Quality of Life; Modems; Obesity; Weight Loss; Exercise; Diet


Obesity; diet; exercise; multiple sclerosis; neurologic disease; weight loss

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