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Weight loss and long-term follow-up of severely obese individuals treated with an intense behavioral program.Anderson JW, Grant L, Gotthelf L, Stifler LTP
Objective: To review weight loss and maintenance for severely obese individuals enrolled in intensive behavioral weight loss program using very-low or low-energy diets.
Design: Chart review of consecutively treated patients between 1995 and 2002 seen at three weight loss centers.
Subjects: One thousand five hundred and thirty one patients with severe obesity (>40 kg/m2) treated in three cities (‘Study Group’). Of these, 1100 completed the 12-week core curriculum (‘Completer Group’). Weight loss > 100 lbs. (> 45 kg) was seen in 268 patients (‘100-Pound Group’).
Measurements: Charts were reviewed for baseline characteristics, weekly weights, follow-up weights and side effects.
Results: In the Study Group, average weight loss +s.e. for 998 women was 23.9 ±0.6 kg (18.5% of initial body weight (IBW)) and for 533 men was 36.0 ±1.0 kg (22.5%) over 30 weeks. For Completers, average weight loss for women was 30.8 ±0.6 kg (23.9%) and for men was 42.6 ±1.1 kg (26.7%) over 39 weeks. In the 100-Pound Group, average weight loss for women was 58.2 ±1.2 kg (41.5%) in 65 weeks and for men was 65.7 ±1.5 kg (37.5%) in 51 weeks. Side effects, assessed in 100 patients losing > 45 kg, were mild to moderate in severity. Severe adverse events unrelated to the diet were noted in 5% of patients and during weight loss 1% had elective cholecystectomies. Follow-up weights were available for 86% of Completers at an average of 72 weeks with average maintenance of 23 kg or 59% of weight loss; follow-up weights were available for 94% of the 100-Pound Group at an average of 95 weeks with average maintenance of 41 kg or 65% of weight loss maintained.
Conclusions: Intensive behavioral treatment with meal replacements is a safe and effective weight-loss strategy for selected severely obese individuals.