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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Perri, Michael
item Foreyt, John

Submitted to: Handbook of Obesity
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2003
Publication Date: 12/1/2003
Citation: Perri, M.G., Foreyt, J.P. 2003. Preventing weight regain after weight loss. In: Bray, G., Bouchard, C., editors. Handbook of Obesity. New York: Marcel Dekker. p. 185-199.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: For most dieters, a regaining of lost weight is an all too common experience. Indeed, virtually all interventions for weight loss show limited or even poor long-term effectiveness. This sobering reality was reflected in a comprehensive review of nonsurgical treatments of obesity conducted by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). In its report, the IOM concluded: "those who complete weight-loss programs lose approximately 10 percent of their body weight, only to regain two thirds of it back within one year and almost all of it back within 5 years". In this chapter, we address the question of whether it is possible to prevent the regaining of weight that invariably seems to follow treatment-induced weight loss. We begin by reviewing the long-term outcomes of lifestyle interventions and by describing some of the physiological, environmental, and psychological factors that contribute to weight regain following weight loss. Next, we examine methods designed specifically to prevent regaining of lost weight including strategies such as extended treatment, skills training, portion-controlled diets, monetary incentives, social support, physical activity, and pharmacotherapy. We conclude the chapter by discussing future directions for the prevention of weight regain in the management of obesity.

Last Modified: 06/24/2017
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