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Effects of electroacupuncture in reducing weight and waist circumference in obese women: a randomized crossover trial



To compare the effects of weight control on simple obese women between electroacupuncture and sit-up exercise.


Randomized and crossover trial conducted from 1 January 2002 to 31 December 2002. The subjects were randomly divided into groups A and B. Group A received electroacupuncture treatment first while group B received sit-up exercise treatment first. After 6 weeks of treatment and 7 days of washout, group A switched to sit-up exercise treatment and group B received electroacupuncture treatment for another 6 weeks.


In total, 54 simple obese women, with waist circumference (WC)>90 cm and body mass index (BMI)>30 kg/m2, and who had not received any other weight control maneuver within the last 3 months.


The measurements of body weight (BW), BMI and WC were performed at the beginning, 6, 8 and 13 weeks. The data at different time periods were compared and expressed as % reductions.


Electroacupuncture (n=46) showed significant differences in the % reductions in BW (P=0.001), BMI (P=0.003) and WC (P=0.005) compared with sit-up exercise. At the end of 13 weeks, there were no significant difference between groups A (n=24) and B (n=22) in all the measurements. At the end of the study, groups A and B showed significant differences in the % reductions in BW (P=0.004; 0.001), BMI (P=0.003; 0.021) and WC (P≤0.001; 0.001) compared with the initial values.


Electroacupuncture treatment is more effective than sit-up exercise in reducing weight and WC, making it an alternative treatment option for weight and WC control on obese women.

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We thank Shier-Chieg Huang, Chien-Chung Chen, Yen-Yi Ho, Shu-Ling Hsie, Chi-Jung Wang and Ying-Li Liao for conducting this trial. We also thank all colleagues in Taipei Hospital, Taiwan for helping with this study. This study was supported by grants from the Taipei Hospital.

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Correspondence to P Chou.

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Hsu, CH., Hwang, KC., Chao, CL. et al. Effects of electroacupuncture in reducing weight and waist circumference in obese women: a randomized crossover trial. Int J Obes 29, 1379–1384 (2005).

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  • acupuncture
  • electroacupuncture

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