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Majority of Obese Adults Do Try to Lose Weight

Last Updated: April 12, 2012.

 

Eating less fat, exercising more, and using prescription weight loss meds are best strategies

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Nearly two-thirds of obese adults are trying to lose weight, and those that eat less fat, exercise more, and use prescription weight loss medications are more successful at losing weight, according to a study published online April 10 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

THURSDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly two-thirds of obese adults are trying to lose weight, and those that eat less fat, exercise more, and use prescription weight loss medications are more successful at losing weight, according to a study published online April 10 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Jacinda M. Nicklas, M.D., M.P.H., of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues analyzed data from 4,021 obese adult participants in the 2001 to 2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Obesity was defined as body mass index ≥30 kg/m².

The researchers found that 2,523 respondents (63 percent) reported trying to lose weight in the past year. Of those trying to lose weight, 1,026 (40 percent) lost ≥5 percent and 510 (20 percent) lost ≥10 percent of body weight. Of those losing ≥5 percent body weight, successful strategies included eating less fat (odds ratio [OR], 1.41; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.14 to 1.75), exercising more (OR, 1.29; 95 percent CI, 1.05 to 1.60), and using prescription weight loss medications (OR, 1.77; 95 percent CI, 1.00 to 3.13). The same strategies were also associated with losing ≥10 percent body weight (OR, 1.37, 1.36, and 2.05, respectively), as was joining commercial weight loss programs (OR, 1.72; 95 percent CI, 1.00 to 2.96). Eating diet products was not significantly linked to reaching 10 percent body weight loss (OR, 0.48). Liquid diets, nonprescription diet pills, and popular diets were not associated with successful weight loss.

"A substantial proportion of obese U.S. adults who attempted to lose weight reported weight loss, at least in the short term," the authors conclude.

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