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Addict Behav. 1999 Mar-Apr;24(2):219-27.

Effects of exercise-focused versus weight-focused maintenance programs on the management of obesity.

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  • 1University of Florida, Gainesville 32610-0165, USA.


This study examined the effects of two maintenance programs on exercise participation, energy expenditure, energy consumption, and weight change in 67 obese adults undergoing behavioral weight-loss treatment. Following an initial 6-month treatment phase which produced a mean weight loss of 8.8 kg, participants were assigned randomly to an exercise-focused maintenance program or to a weight-focused maintenance program. Both maintenance programs included 6 months of biweekly group sessions. The exercise-focused program included supervised group walking sessions, individual and group contingencies for exercise completion, and relapse prevention training targeted specifically at the maintenance of physical activity. The weight-focused program contained a general focus on the maintenance of weight-loss through therapist-led group problem-solving of weight-related problems presented by individual participants. At the completion of the maintenance program and at long-term follow-up, there were no significant differences between conditions in exercise participation or energy expenditure. However, during the year following initial treatment, participants in the weight-focused program demonstrated significantly greater reductions in fat consumption and significantly better maintenance of weight losses than subjects in the exercise-focused program.

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