Practices associated with weight loss versus weight-loss maintenance: Results of a national survey

Christopher N. Sciamanna, Michaela Kiernan, Barbara J. Rolls, Jarol Boan, Heather Stuckey, Donna Kephart, Carla K. Miller, Gordon Jensen, Terry J. Hartmann, Eric Loken, Kevin O. Hwang, Ronald J. Williams, Melissa A. Clark, Jane R. Schubart, Arthur M. Nezu, Erik Lehman, Cheryl Dellasega

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Background: Few studies have examined the weight-control practices that promote weight loss and weight-loss maintenance in the same sample. Purpose: To examine whether the weight control practices associated with weight loss differ from those associated with weight-loss maintenance. Methods: Cross-sectional survey of a random sample of 1165 U.S. adults. The adjusted associations of the use of 36 weight-control practices in the past week with success in weight loss (<10% lost in the past year) and success in weight-loss maintenance (<10% lost and maintained for <1 year) were examined. Results: Of the 36 practices, only 8 (22%) were associated with both weight loss and weight-loss maintenance. Overall, there was poor agreement (kappa=0.22) between the practices associated with weight loss and/or weight-loss maintenance. For example, those who reported more often following a consistent exercise routine or eating plenty of low-fat sources of protein were 1.97 (95% CI=1.33, 2.94) and 1.76 (95% CI=1.25, 2.50) times more likely, respectively, to report weight-loss maintenance but not weight loss. Alternatively, those who reported more often doing different kinds of exercises or planning meals ahead of time were 2.56 (95% CI=1.44, 4.55) and 1.68 (95% CI=1.03, 2.74) times more likely, respectively, to report weight loss but not weight-loss maintenance. Conclusions: Successful weight loss and weight-loss maintenance may require two different sets of practices. Designing interventions with this premise may inform the design of more effective weight-loss maintenance interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-166
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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