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Practices Associated with Weight Loss Versus Weight-Loss Maintenance

Results of a National Survey

      Background

      Few studies have examined the weight-control practices that promote weight loss and weight-loss maintenance in the same sample.

      Purpose

      To examine whether the weight control practices associated with weight loss differ from those associated with weight-loss maintenance.

      Methods

      Cross-sectional survey of a random sample of 1165 U.S. adults. The adjusted associations of the use of 36 weight-control practices in the past week with success in weight loss (≥10% lost in the past year) and success in weight-loss maintenance (≥10% lost and maintained for ≥1 year) were examined.

      Results

      Of the 36 practices, only 8 (22%) were associated with both weight loss and weight-loss maintenance. Overall, there was poor agreement (kappa=0.22) between the practices associated with weight loss and/or weight-loss maintenance. For example, those who reported more often following a consistent exercise routine or eating plenty of low-fat sources of protein were 1.97 (95% CI=1.33, 2.94) and 1.76 (95% CI=1.25, 2.50) times more likely, respectively, to report weight-loss maintenance but not weight loss. Alternatively, those who reported more often doing different kinds of exercises or planning meals ahead of time were 2.56 (95% CI=1.44, 4.55) and 1.68 (95% CI=1.03, 2.74) times more likely, respectively, to report weight loss but not weight-loss maintenance.

      Conclusions

      Successful weight loss and weight-loss maintenance may require two different sets of practices. Designing interventions with this premise may inform the design of more effective weight-loss maintenance interventions.
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