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A new study suggests maintenance intervention could be the key to successfully sustaining weight loss. After initial weight loss, most people regain weight at an average rate of 2 to 4 pounds per year. Researchers found that a primarily telephone-based intervention, which focused on providing strategies and motivation for maintaining weight loss, could slow the rate of participant’s weight regain.

The study, published by the Annals of Internal Medicine, tracked weight loss participants that had lost an average of 16 pounds during a 16-week group-based weight loss program. The participants were randomly assigned either the intervention group or “usual care,” which means no contact except for periodic weight assessments. The intervention group gradually moved from in-person group meetings to telephone calls, infrequent calls, and then during the final 14 weeks of the study received the usual care. After 56 weeks, the intervention group experienced a mean weight regain of 1.5 pounds compared to the usual care group’s 5 pounds.

Considering that obesity is one of the most widespread diseases and can lead to a myriad of further health complications like type 2 diabetes and heart disease, the findings are exciting.1 Even though all participants did regain some weight, the evidence suggests that incorporating maintenance intervention in clinical and commercial weight loss programs could make them more effective long term. Questions remain about the financial viability of intervention, and this is perhaps where new developments in technology may provide exciting solutions.

Consumer wearable devices will be highly personalized and can take on the role of maintenance care worker for a consumer’s specific health needs. This would cut costs for the healthcare system, prioritize physician resources, and improve patient outcomes by providing the constant motivation, maintenance, and feedback that people need to manage their own health.


Read the Annals of Internal Medicine article here:

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