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October 27, 1999

Lifestyle and Structured Interventions to Increase Physical Activity

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;282(16):1515-1517. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-16-jbk1027

To the Editor: Two studies in JAMA1,2 purport to demonstrate that "lifestyle" and "structured interventions" are equally successful in increasing physical activity and improving cardiovascular risk factor profiles. One article, for example, concluded that ". . . both the lifestyle and the structured interventions produced significant and comparable beneficial changes in physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness, blood pressure, and percentage of body fat at 24 months compared with baseline measures."1 This conclusion gains apparent strength from the fact that the studies in question are randomized controlled trials. However, in neither study is there a true control group and the conclusion is based on similar before and after changes in groups randomized to lifestyle or structured interventions.

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