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Weight Loss Maintenance
Diet and Behavioral Program for the Treatment of Obesity
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Weight Loss Maintenance

A dietary and behavioral program for the treatment of obesity. A 4-year clinical trial and a long-term post-treatment follow-up.

Weight Maintenance Study - Aim
To evaluate weight loss maintenance after 4 years of nonpharmacological, nonsurgical obesity treatment, including a very low calorie diet (VLCD), diet and behavioural support. Furthermore, to assess weight development amongst completers and noncompleters beyond the active 4-year treatment period. Setting: Two Swedish county hospitals.

Weight Maintenance Study - Subjects
A total of 113 patients were randomized to a 2-year treatment program with or without an initial VLCD period. The 87 patients who completed the 2-year program were offered the chance to continue a support program for another 2 years. A total of 55 patients completed the entire 4-year program.

Weight Maintenance Study - Interventions
All the patients took part in a comprehensive support program, including a hypocaloric diet and behavioural support, either as single treatment (non-VLCD group) or following the VLCD period (VLCD group).

Weight Maintenance Study - Results
Significant 4-year weight losses were found in both groups, 7.6 +/- 12.2 kg (VLCD group) and 6.3 +/- 8.5 kg (non-VLCD group). The completers had maintained a weight loss of 3.3 +/- 10.7 kg 8 years after randomization. After 6 years, the non-completers had gained 3.2 +/- 9.7 kg compared with baseline. The difference in weight change between completers and non-completers was highly significant.

Weight Maintenance Study - Conclusions
Highly significant weight losses can be maintained after a 4-year comprehensive treatment program, including a hypocaloric diet and behavioural support. An initial VLCD period did not significantly affect the long-term weight loss. The posttreatment long-term weight loss was larger amongst completers than amongst patients who did not complete the treatment.

Source: Lantz H, Peltonen M, Agren L, Torgerson JS. Department of Body Composition and Metabolism, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Goteborg, Sweden. J Intern Med 2003; 254: 272-279.

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The science of weight loss and obesity management is constantly evolving, along with research into weight loss drugs, supplements and gastric bypass surgery. At present, however, a balanced diet combined with regular exercise remains the favored weight management strategy of most weight loss experts.

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