Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Predicting Who Is Likely to Succeed at Weight Loss

Obesity is a serious disease. And researchers throughout the world are trying to find ways to fight obesity. Obesity increases the incidence of comorbid illnesses and puts strains on a country’s budget. About a third of the U.S. population is obese. Therefore, establishing workable approaches to weight loss and weight control are important objectives. Moreover, predicting which overweight persons are likely to succeed at weight loss can lead to better selection criteria and more targeted weight loss methods.

A recent study found that ‘some individuals begin obesity treatment weighing more than they did at pretreatment assessment. Weight fluctuations between baseline screening and the first treatment session were examined among individuals enrolling in a group behavioral obesity treatment outcome study.’

This means, as the researchers indicated, that the characteristics of those persons who gain weight between assessment and the commencement of weight loss treatment should be examined, and compared to the characteristics of those persons who don’t gain weight during this period. This will allow markers to be discovered that can help predict the patients who are likely to adhere to the required lifestyle changes.

Another recent study shows that ‘Behavioural weight management interventions” can “produce 8-10% reductions in body weight, yet most participants regain weight after treatment ends.” The researchers conclude that “extended care is a viable and efficacious solution to addressing long-term maintenance of lost weight.’

If the use of markers that predict lifestyle change adherents are combined with extended care, weight loss treatment might be improved. And if the public is exposed to more calorie-related information and an environment that promotes physical activity, a dent in the obesity epidemic will likely be made. As we’ve stated in the past, weight loss centers should put special emphasis on better counseling and information delivery programs. These programs can help the obese individual achieve initial weight loss and adapt to a lifetime weight maintenance program.

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