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Study: Weight Loss Treatments Failing Obese Individuals

Dorathy Gass

A study recently revealed that achieving an ideal body weight for an individual who is obese might be considered quite difficult. The research was done by a team at UK’s King’s College in London, where only 1 in 124 obese females and 1 in 210 obese males were able to reach their ideal weight goals when trying to shed pounds. Moreover, the chance of severely obese people reaching their normal weight was low too, with 1 in 677 females reaching this goal; and just 1 in 1,290 hitting their ideal weight.

According to Medical News Today, the study’s lead author, Dr. Alison Fildes, notes that shedding 5 to 10% body weight has proven to be advantageous to an individual’s health, and is often encouraged as a short-term weight loss goal. The study’s findings focus on the challenge individuals with obesity face when it comes to losing weight. Tracking the weight of over 149,000 females, and over 129, 000 males over the time period of 2004 to 2012, the research team reviewed electronic health records as part of the study. Those individuals who participated in weight-loss surgery were not included in analysis.

The research went on to show that the yearly chance of these individuals losing 5% of their body weight was only 10% for females, and 8% for males. Of those participants who were able to achieve the above goal, 53% regained it within two years, and 78% regained it within 5 years. Over one third of the participants suffered from weight cycling, where they would both lose and gain weight over the years.

Dr. Fildes concludes that while it seems that options for obese individuals are weight loss programs, the system set in place for a vast majority of obese individuals is simply not working. She adds that new weight management treatments are needed right away to not only encourage weight loss, but also prevent individuals from gaining weight. Senior author Prof. Martin Gulliford chimed in to add that cutting calories and increasing physical activity is seemingly an ineffective strategy, rather it may be time to implement wide-spread public health policies to avoid further weight gain within individuals, and downscale the current obesity issues within society.

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