“I think it’s essential that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”
A study to assess the impact of giving lifestyle advice to people who have had a bowel polyp removed (BeWEL)
This study looked at the impact of an intervention about diet, physical activity and body weight on people who have had a bowel polyp removed.
Growths in the bowel, called
This study was for people who had taken part in the bowel cancer screening programme in Scotland, who had had a polyp removed and were overweight or obese.
Everybody who took part was given a leaflet containing advice on ways to reduce their risk of developing cancer (and conditions like diabetes) by changing their diet, increasing activity levels and losing weight. Some people also had a face to face session with a lifestyle counsellor who gave them in depth advice.
The aim of the study was to assess what impact advice from a lifestyle counsellor has on weight loss (and other lifestyle changes) over a 1 year period.
Summary of results
The study team found that a diet and physical activity programme can help people at risk of developing bowel cancer to lose weight. And the researchers say that this could possibly help people to lower their risk of bowel cancer in the future.
329 people between the age of 50 and 74 took part and
- Half were given a booklet with information on different ways to lose weight (the control group)
- Half were given the same booklet and also had 3 face to face visits with a lifestyle counsellor and monthly phone calls from the counsellor for a year (the intervention group)
At set times in the study, the researchers weighed everybody, recorded their blood pressure, did some blood tests and measured levels of physical activity. Everybody filled in some questionnaires that asked about their diet.
After a year the researchers had information for
- 148 out of 163 people in the intervention group
- 157 out of 166 people in the control group
They compared the average amount of weight that people had lost between the 2 groups. They found that
- The people in the control group had lost 0.78kg (about 1.5 lbs) on average
- The people in the intervention group had lost 3.5kg (over 7.5lbs) on average
The researchers found that people in the intervention group continued to lose weight in the year that the study took place. The people in the control group lost a bit of weight in the first 3 months. But after that they didn’t lose much weight at all.
After a year the researchers found that people in the intervention group had better controlled blood pressure and sugar levels in the blood. And they were much more physically active than the control group.
The researchers concluded that a one year individual weight loss programme helped people to lose weight, change their diets and improve their levels of physical activity.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Professor Annie Anderson
MRC National Prevention Research Initiative
NHS Research Scotland
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
University of Dundee