Listed in Issue 167


MARINILLI and COLLEAGUES,  Department of Psychology, Baruch College, The City University of New York, New York, New York, USA.  compared weight loss and long-term weight maintenance in people enrolled in a weight-loss trial.


This study examined the relation between method of weight loss and long-term maintenance among successful weight losers enrolled in a weight-loss maintenance trial.


Participants were 186 adults (mean age = 51.6 +/- 10.7 years, mean BMI = 28.6 +/- 4.7 kg/m(2)) enrolled in the STOP Regain trial who had lost at least 10% of their body weight in the past 2 years using a very low-calorie diet (VLCD; n = 24), commercial program (n = 95), or self-guided approach (n = 67). Participants were randomized to a weight-maintenance intervention delivered face to face or over the internet or to a newsletter control condition, and followed for 18 months.


At study entry, individuals who had used a VLCD had achieved a weight loss of 24% of their maximum weight within the past 2 years compared to 17% achieved by those who had used a commercial program or self-guided approach (P < 0.001). However, individuals who had used a VLCD regained significantly more weight than the other two groups and by 6 months, there were no significant differences in overall percent weight loss (i.e., initial weight loss and maintenance) between VLCD, commercial, and self-guided methods. In contrast, individuals who had used a self-guided approach maintained their weight losses from baseline through 18 months.


The large initial weight losses achieved by individuals who had used a VLCD were not maintained over time, whereas individuals who had used a self-guided approach maintained their initial weight losses with the greatest success. The generalizability of these findings is limited by the sizeable weight losses achieved by study participants.


Marinilli Pinto A, Gorin AA, Raynor HA, Tate DF, Fava JL and Wing RR. Successful weight-loss maintenance in relation to method of weight loss. Obesity 16(11): 2456-61. Nov 2008.

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