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Obes Res. 1999 Jan;7(1):43-50.

Predictors of weight maintenance.

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Department of Human Biology, Maastricht University, The Netherlands.



To obtain predictors of weight maintenance after a weight-loss intervention.


An overall analysis of data from two-long intervention studies [n=67 women; age: 37.9+/-1.0 years; body weight (BW): 87.0+/-1.2 kg; body mass index: 32.1+/-0.5 kg.m(-2); % body fat: 42.4+/-0.5%]. Subjects were measured before a very low energy diet (month 0), after the very low energy diet of 2 months (month 2) and after a 14-month follow-up phase (at 16 months), in which fiber or a carbohydrate-containing food supplement was supplied. The baseline measurements and the changes in parameters induced by the diet intervention were used to predict the changes in BW in the follow-up phase [deltaBW(2-16)].


Multiple regression analysis revealed that 50% (p<0.001) of the variability in weight regain could be explained by physiological and behavioral factors. These were: frequency of previous dieting (r2=0.27, p<0.05), hunger score (measured with the three-factor eating behavior questionnaire), and change in 24-hour resting metabolic rate (RMR). Frequent dieters showed significantly more weight regain than less frequent dieters (8.8+/-1.0 kg vs. 5.1+/-0.8 kg, p<0.01). Subjects having parents with obesity regained almost significantly more weight than subjects with lean parents (8.5+/-0.2 kg vs. 5.1+/-1.5 kg, respectively; p = 0.06).


Physiological (deltaRMR-24 hours) and behavioral factors (previous frequency of dieting and hunger score) predicted failure of weight maintenance and, as such, can be used to identify women who are at risk for weight regain.

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