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Obes Rev. 2000 May;1(1):17-9.

Lessons from obesity management programmes: greater initial weight loss improves long-term maintenance.

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Research Department of Human Nutrition, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Rolighedsvej 30, DK-1958 Frederiksberg, Denmark.


It is a common belief that weight loss achieved at a slow rate is better preserved than if the weight is lost more rapidly. However, the literature shows that initial weight loss is positively, not negatively, related to long-term weight maintenance. There is evidence from randomised intervention trials to support that a greater initial weight loss induced without changes in lifestyle (e.g. liquid formula diets or anorectic drugs) improves long-term weight maintenance, providing it is followed by a 1-2 years integrated weight maintenance programme consisting of lifestyle interventions involving dietary change, nutritional education, behaviour therapy and increased physical activity. In conclusion, we find evidence to suggest that a greater initial weight loss as the first step of a weight management programme may result in improved sustained weight maintenance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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