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Behav Res Ther. 2002 Nov;40(11):1275-89.

Maintenance of weight loss after obesity treatment: is continuous support necessary?

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Abteilung Klinische Psychologie, Psychologisches Institut, Johannes Gutenberg-Universit├Ąt Mainz, Staudingerweg 9, 55099, Mainz, Germany.



This study examined outcome differences of 109 obese subjects, who participated in a 10-week cognitive-behavioral inpatient treatment followed by either a weight maintenance program or a follow-up period without professional support.


Self-rated weight loss, eating behaviors, and general psychopathology were assessed several months before treatment, when subjects were admitted, at discharge, and at the 6-, 12-, and 18-month follow-ups. Structured interviews for mental disorders and eating pathology were conducted additionally.


The mean weight of the sample at baseline was 127 kg. Weight loss of the total sample amounted to 8.0 kg (6.3%) and was completely maintained during the follow-up period. Significant reductions of eating and general psychopathology were observed at the 18-month follow-up. The outcome in the maintenance condition did not significantly differ from the outcome in the control condition.


Weight regain after obesity treatment is not inevitable, but continuous patient-therapist contacts do not distinctly improve treatment effects.

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