University of Wisconsin–Madison Medical College of Wisconsin

Continuous Engagement in a Weight-Loss Program Promotes Sustained Significant Weight Loss

Nia S. Mitchell, MD, MPH; Emmanuel A. Seyoum; Nrupen A. Bhavsar, PhD; Fern J. Webb, PhD

WMJ. 2020;119(4):253-257.

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ABSTRACT

Background: Significant weight loss improves health but regain is common.

Objective: The objective of the study was to determine if 2,346 members of Take Off Pounds Sensibly—a national, low-cost, peer-led weight-loss program—achieved and maintained significant weight loss with 7 consecutive annual renewals.

Methods: This study was a retrospective cohort design. For each renewal, the cumulative change from baseline weight was calculated. Weight change was placed into 1 of 3 categories: significant weight loss, loss ≥ 5%; weight stable, loss of 0 to < 5%; or weight gain, any amount above baseline weight.

Results: The cohort included 2,346 individuals. Fifty-one percent (n=740) of participants were in the significant weight-loss category all 7 years; 256 (18%) were in the significant weight-loss category at year 1 but moved into at least 1 other category during years 2 through 6; 359 (25%) were in the weight stable category at year 1; and 98 (7%) were in the weight gain category at year 1.

Conclusions: Over 60% of the population achieved significant weight loss by year 7. Since continuous, long-term engagement in a weight-loss program can lead to significant weight loss, even if significant weight loss is not initially achieved, participation should be encouraged.


Author Affiliations: Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC (Mitchell, Bhavsar); University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Denver, Colo (Seyoum); Department of Community Health and Family Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine, Jacksonville, Fla (Webb).
Corresponding Author: Nia S. Mitchell, MD, MPH, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC 27701; email nia.s.mitchell@duke.edu; ORCID ID 0000-0002-4833-4806.
Funding/Support: None declared.
Financial Disclosures: None declared.
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