Are weight loss programs effective in reducing obesity?

Updated: Jun 09, 2021
  • Author: Osama Hamdy, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Most individuals are able to attain weight loss in the short term, but weight regain is unfortunately a common pattern. On average, participants in nonsurgical weight-management programs lose approximately 10% of their initial body weight over 12-24 weeks, but the majority regain two thirds of the weight lost within a year.

Old data indicated that 90-95% of the weight lost is regained in 5 years. Recent data show that more intensive and structured nonsurgical weight management may help a significant number of patients to maintain most of the weight lost for up to 4 years.

In the Look AHEAD study, 887 of 2570 participants (34.5%) in the intensive lifestyle group lost at least 10% of their weight at year 1. Of these, 374 (42.2%) maintained this loss at year 4 and another 17% maintained 7-10% weight loss at 4 years. More than 45% of all intensive lifestyle participants had achieved and maintained a clinically significant weight loss (≥ 5%) at 4 years. [106]

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