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Weight Loss Study - Denmark (1992 and 1998)

Weight Loss Study Aim
To elucidate how frequent weight-loss attempts are made, the methods used to achieve weight loss, and the extent to which the outcome is positive.

Weight Loss Study Methods
Two independent interviews were conducted in 1992 and in 1998, each with 1200 randomly selected adult subjects. Each survey was designed to ensure an equal distribution of age, gender, and geographical regions in Denmark.

Weight Loss Study Results
The proportion of subjects having attempted weight loss did not change from 1992 to 1998, although the prevalence of overweight and obesity increased from 1992 (overweight, 30 percent; obesity, 6 percent) to 1998 (overweight, 35 percent; obesity, 8 percent). Almost twice as many women (61 percent) than men (32 percent) had attempted weight loss. Slimming occurred more often in subjects <50 years (51 percent) than >50 years (39 percent), although overweight and obesity were more frequent in the elderly. Over-the-counter diet pills or meal replacements were associated with a negative outcome of slimming treatment.

Weight Loss Study Issues
Approximately half of all adult Danes have attempted weight loss, particularly women and individuals <50 years. This finding is inconsistent with the fact that overweight and obesity are more prevalent in men and in individuals >50 years. Changes in habitual diet and increased physical activity are the most prevalent modes of slimming, whereas the use of over-the-counter diet pills or meal replacements has decreased from 1992 to 1998. This development may have a positive impact on future body- weight-management strategies.

Source: Bendixen H, Madsen J, Bay-Hansen D, Boesen U, Ovesen LF, Bartels EM, Astrup A. Research Department of Human Nutrition, the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Rolighedsvej 30, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark.

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