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Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2001 Mar;25(3):325-31.

Weight-loss maintenance in overweight individuals one to five years following successful completion of a commercial weight loss program.

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Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, MCP Hahnemann University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102, USA.



To determine weight loss maintenance among participants in a commercial weight loss program (Weight Watchers) who had reached their goal weights 1-5 y previously.


A national sample (n=1002) was surveyed by phone to obtain demographic and weight-related information. An oversample (n=258) was recruited and weighed in person to develop a correction factor for self-reported weights in the national sample.


Based on corrected weights, weight regain from 1 to 5 y following weight loss ranged between 31.5 and 76.5%. At 5 y, 19.4% were within 5 lb of goal weight, 42.6% maintained a loss of 5% or more, 18.8% maintained a loss of 10% or more, and 70.3% were below initial weight.


These results are not directly comparable to those obtained in clinical settings because of differences in the populations studied. Nonetheless, they suggest that the long-term prognosis for weight maintenance among individuals who reach goal weight in at least one commercial program is better than that suggested by existing research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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