Recovering Normal Body Weight Obesity Prevention

Low chance of recovering normal body weight highlights need for obesity prevention

Research funded by the HS&DR programme shows the chance of an obese person returning to a normal healthy body weight is 1 in 210 for men and 1 in 124 for women, according to a study of UK health records led by King’s College London.
This increases to 1 in 1,290 for men and 1 in 677 for women for those who are severely obese.
The research suggests that current weight management programmes that focus on dieting and exercise are not effective in tackling obesity at population level.
The findings were based from tracking the weight of 278,982 participants (129,194 men and 149,788 women) using health records from 2004 to 2014. The study looked at the probability of obese patients attaining normal weight or a 5% reduction in body weight; patients who had received bariatric surgery were not included in the study.
A minimum of three body mass index (BMI) records per patient was used in order to estimate weight changes.

Overall, 1,283 men and 2,245 women with a BMI of 30-35 reached their normal body weight, equivalent to an annual probability of 1 in 210 for men and 1 in 124 for women.
For those with a BMI above 40 and classed as severely obese, the odds increased to 1 in 1,290 for men and 1 in 677 for women.
Researcher Dr Alison Fildes, from the Health and Social Care Research Division at King’s College London said, “Losing 5 to 10 per cent of your body weight has been shown to have meaningful health benefits and is often recommended as a weight loss target. These findings highlight how difficult it is for people with obesity to achieve and maintain even small amounts of weight loss.’
‘The main treatment options offered to obese patients in the UK are weight management programmes accessed via their GP. This evidence suggests the current system is not working for the vast majority of obese patients.’
‘Once an adult becomes obese, it is very unlikely that they will return to a healthy body weight. New approaches are urgently needed to deal with this issue. Obesity treatments should focus on preventing overweight and obese patients gaining further weight, while also helping those that do lose weight to keep it off. More importantly, priority needs to be placed on preventing weight gain in the first place.”
You can find out more about the study from the project page.

More articles     Posted on: 22 July 2015