Few Obese Individuals Will Reach Normal Weight or Keep Off Lost Pounds: Study
The American Journal of Public Health published a report on weight loss and obesity, which asserts that very few obese individuals will reach a normal weight or keep off any lost pounds if they manage to lose the weight.
According to the report that tracked 176,000 obese British men, obese men have a 1-in-210 chance of decreasing to a normal weight. However, women fare better: They have 1-in-124 odds of reach their normal weight goal.
When it comes to obesity in the Latino community, 77 percent of Latino adults are obese or overweight, compared to 67.2 percent of white adults. Additionally, 38.9 percent of obese or overweight children (ages 2-19) are Latino, compared to 28.5 percent of white children of the same age.
While many obese people are likely to shed five percent of their body weight, enough to welcome lower blood pressure and blood sugar, more than three-quarters gained the weight back within five years (78 percent). This is an unfortunate forecast for any obese individual working toward their weight loss goal. Nevertheless, the greatest takeaway is the report's focus on highlighting the importance of obesity prevention.
The study does not intend to suggest that weight-loss goals are fruitless, according to Dr. Caroline Apovian, a spokeswoman for the Obesity Society who was not involved in the research. Instead, it wants to highlight the near impossibility of attaining a normal body weight after being obese. Based on medical records, and no details about weight loss, the study may only tell part of the story. It doesn't share what method was employed when they effectively lost weight: formal weight loss program, unhealthy habits (bulimia, anorexia, etc.), calorie cut, frequent exercise or a fad diet.
"What our findings suggest is that current strategies used to tackle obesity are not helping the majority of obese patients to lose weight and maintain that weight loss," said lead researcher Alison Fildes, a research psychologist at University College London, in a statement. "This might be because people are unable to access weight-loss interventions or because the interventions being offered are ineffective -- or both."
According to the research, obese men and women have a low annual probability of achieving a normal weight, particularly if they're severely overweight. Morbidly obese men have odds as high as 1-in-1,290. Additionally the report shared that the yearly odds for weight loss were 1-in-12 for men and 1-in-10 for women. Health providers advise patients to set weight loss goals at 5-10 percent, but even that can be difficult to maintain.
Researchers insist that obese individuals enroll in obesity treatment programs, prioritize further weight gain prevention, and pursue weight loss when it is achieved.
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