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Maintaining weight can be tough if you do not drop too many kilos

Researchers have found that maintaining weight can be difficult if you do not drop too many kilos.

About two-thirds of American adults are overweight and the health and economic burdens of the obesity epidemic are substantial, lead author Joanna Huang from Novo Nordisk Inc. in Plainsboro, New Jersey, said.

Huang noted that many patients regain weight after their initial loss, and even after a period of weight loss, the majority of the people become 'cyclers' who regain weight or experience inconsistent gains and losses.

The researchers reviewed the electronic medical records of 177,743 obese patients who had no medical conditions linked with unintentional weight loss and who had been having annual body mass index (BMI) measurements for 5 years or longer.

Among patients with modest weight loss, 23.1 percent maintained their weight and 2.0 percent continued to lose weight over the two-year monitoring period.

In moderate weight loss, 14.1 percent maintained their weight loss and 4.1 percent continued to lose weight, and those with high weight loss, 19.4 percent maintained their weight and 11.1 percent continued to lose weight.

However, over the 2 years, fewer patients maintained their weight. In the modest, moderate, and high weight-loss groups, 40.0 percent, 35.9 percent and 18.6 percent of patients, respectively, regained over half of their lost weight during the maintenance period.

The majority of the patients in each group experienced weight regain or weight cycling. The high weight-loss group had the lowest proportion of cyclers with 58.3 percent, while 71.5 percent of the modest weight loss group and 74.1 percent of the moderate weight loss group were cyclers.