Weight regain after successful weight loss interventions is common.
Dr Corrine Voils and colleagues from North Carolina, USA established the efficacy of a weight loss maintenance program compared with usual care in obese adults.
The research team performed a 2-group, parallel, randomized trial stratified by initial weight loss, conducted from 2012 to 2015.
The team evaluated 3 primary care clinics at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Durham and Raleigh, North Carolina.
The researchers assessed obese outpatients who lost 4 kg or more of body weight during a 16-week, group-based weight loss program.
|Mean weight loss during initiation was 7 kg|
|Annals of Internal Medicine|
The maintenance intervention, delivered primarily by telephone, addressed satisfaction with outcomes, relapse-prevention planning, self-monitoring, and social support.
Usual care involved no contact except for study measurements.
The team's primary outcome was mean weight regain at week 56.
Secondary outcomes included self-reported caloric intake, walking, and moderate physical activity.
Of 504 patients in the initial program, 222 lost at least 4 kg of body weight and were randomly assigned to maintenance or usual care.
The team found that retention was 85%.
Most patients were middle-aged white men.
The team observed that mean weight loss during initiation was 7 kg, and mean weight at randomization was 104 kg.
Estimated mean weight regain was statistically significantly lower in the intervention than the usual care group.
The researchers found no statistically significant differences in secondary outcomes at 56 weeks.
The team observed no adverse events directly attributable to the intervention.
Dr Voils' team concludes, "An intervention focused on maintenance-specific strategies and delivered in a resource-conserving way modestly slowed the rate of weight regain in obese adults."