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The Healthy Weigh Named a “Best Diet” by U.S. News & World Report

HMR Weight Management Services (HMR) is one of U.S. News & World Report’s best diets of 2016, based on the rankings released Tuesday. The Healthy Weigh, Saint Francis Medical Center’s weight-loss program, incorporates diet solutions from HMR.

HMR was ranked the number one Best Fast Weight-Loss Diet in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Diets of 2016 rankings. This is the first year the magazine has published the Best Fast Weight-Loss Diet category. HMR also held its position as the number two Best Weight-Loss Diet in the annual rankings list for the second year in a row. HMR Programs focus on helping people lose weight quickly while teaching the healthy lifestyle skills needed for long-term weight management.

Saint Francis has offered the HMR Program for five years to community members in Southeast Missouri and beyond who are interested in losing weight fast and keeping it off. So far, participants have lost more than 18,000 pounds and counting!

“HMR programs excel at providing the jump start many people need when beginning a healthier lifestyle program,” said Candice O’Hare, RD, LD, health educator for The Healthy Weigh. “Through the HMR Program at Saint Francis, people can lose weight without feeling hungry. The program achieves fast weight loss in a livable way, by encouraging people to eat more and stay satisfied. This makes it easier to stick to the program in both the short- and long-term.”

O’Hare adds, “A common misconception is that losing weight quickly is not healthy, not sustainable, and will just lead to future weight re-gain. To the contrary, numerous clinical studies demonstrate that following a lifestyle change program which promotes fast initial weight loss can result in better long-term success.”

In a clinical study, 1,100 participants with a BMI of 40 or higher who completed at least 12 weeks of the HMR program lost an average of 66 lbs. after 26 weeks. Participants using the Healthy Solutions® at Home program had a median weight loss of 23 lbs. over the first 12 weeks of the program. Clinically meaningful weight loss is typically defined as losing 5 percent or more of initial body weight. Healthy Solutions at Home participants using phone support maintained an average weight loss of 7.4 percent of initial body weight 18 months after starting the program. 

It is well reported that weight loss is associated with favorable changes in medical risk factors. Below are health risk reductions and medication changes for 721 HMR patients who participated in a clinic-based program (mean duration of participation 107.6 weeks):

  • Fasting Glucose (mg/dL): -9.4 percent
  • Total Cholesterol / HDL ratio: -10.3 percent
  • Diastolic / Systolic Blood Pressure: -7 mmHg / -4 mmHg
  • Triglycerides (mg/dL): -26.7 percent
  • Of 126 patients taking oral diabetes medications at baseline, 40.5 percent (n=51) had discontinued these medications at follow-up.
  • Of 45 patients taking insulin at baseline, 35.5 percent (n=16) had discontinued their insulin at follow -up.
  • Of 337 patients taking blood pressure medications at baseline, 36.2 percent (n=122) had discontinued these medications at follow-up.

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.

For more information on HMR’s inclusion in the Best Diets ranking, please visit To learn more about The Healthy Weigh at Saint Francis, call 573-331-5686.

HMR Weight Management Services (HMR) is a subsidiary of Merck specializing in weight loss and weight management. HMR programs, available in-person or at home, offer lifestyle education, a structured diet and an emphasis on long-term weight and health management. Founded in 1983 by Lawrence T.P. Stifler, Ph.D. and headquartered in Boston, Mass., HMR’s programs are available to clinics, hospitals, major medical centers, and integrated delivery networks throughout the United States. For more information, visit

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