Adults with large, early weight loss least likely to regain weight
BOSTON — Adults with obesity who reduced their BMI by 15% or more during a 6-month period were more likely to continue to lose weight and less likely to experience weight cycling vs. those who lost less weight, according to study findings presented here.
“Achieving and maintaining weight loss has proven to be difficult,” Joanna Huang, PharmD, a senior manager of health economics and outcomes research at Novo Nordisk, said in a press release. “Many patients regain weight after their initial loss, and even after a period of weight loss, most people become ‘cyclers’ who regain weight or experience inconsistent losses and gains.”
Huang and colleagues analyzed electronic medical records from 177,743 adults with a baseline BMI at least 30 kg/m² and no medical conditions associated with unintentional weight loss. Included patients had at least four BMI measurements per year for at least 5 years. Researchers categorized patients into four weight groups based on their amount of weight change during a two-quarter weight-loss period following the baseline BMI: stable weight (less than 5% of index BMI lost); modest weight loss (5% to less than 10% of index BMI lost); moderate weight loss (10% to less than 15% of index BMI lost) and high weight loss (at least 15% of index BMI lost). Researchers measured weight-change patterns during a weight-maintenance period for eight quarters following the weight-loss period.
During the maintenance period, 151,236 (85.1%) patients were in the stable-weight group; 16,559 (9.3%) were in the modest weight-loss group; 4,017 (2.3%) were in the moderate weight-loss group and 5,931 (3.3%) were in the high weight-loss group.
Researchers found that patients who lost the most weight during the first two quarters were more likely to continue to lose weight during the weight-maintenance period. In the first quarter of the weight-maintenance period, 18.8% of the high weight-loss group continued to lose weight, with 11.1% still losing weight in the eighth quarter. Among the modest weight-loss group, 7.2% continued to lose weight during the first quarter of the maintenance period; 2% continued to lose weight by the eighth quarter. During the weight-maintenance period, 18.6% of high weight-loss patients regained at least 50% of lost weight vs. 40% of modest weight-loss patients and 35.9% of moderate weight-loss patients. The high weight-loss group also had the lowest proportion of weight cyclers (58.3%) vs. modest (71.5%) and moderate (74.1%) weight-loss patients.
“We hope these results highlight the importance of chronic, consistent and conscientious weight loss and management,” Huang said. “Identifying patterns of weight change is critical for tailoring weight-management strategies to the needs of targeted patient groups.” – by Regina Schaffer
Huang J, et al. OR07-2. Presented at: The Endocrine Society Annual Meeting; April 1-4, 2016; Boston.
Disclosure: Novo Nordisk funded this study. All researchers are employees of or researchers for Novo Nordisk.