A new study at King’s College London found that odds are slim for obese people to reach normal weight. It’s a challenge for most to trim down the extra weight, requiring a great amount of will, exercise and a drastic change of diet, but the task seems more improbable for those suffering of obesity.
One of the main reasons is not the ability to trim down, but the inability to keep it down.
A number of approximately 279,000 participants were involved in the study, among which over 129,000 were men and almost 150,000 women. Electronic records were pulled from between the years 2004 and 2014 to asses both current weight, weight loss and weight gain alike. The parameters were standard: those with a BMI between 30 and 35 were considered obese, while those with a BMI of over 40 were labeled as severely obese.
The statistics were worrying. Only 1 in 210 men diagnosed with obesity were able to reach normal body weight through diet and exercise, and just slightly better 1 in 124 odds for women.
The chances were reportedly even worse for those with severe obesity with higher risk of developing dangerous health problems. A mere 1 in 1,290 of men and 1 in 667 women reached a normal body weight. Anyone who achieved their goal through surgery was excluded from the study.
Dieticians and doctors claim that a 5% to 10% weight loss is a healthy objective for those planning on dieting and exercising in order to slim down. It has been proven to have numerous health benefits and it’s usually the recommended target.
And while the statistics look more promising for those goals, the problem seems to appear in keeping it down. It has been observed that while 1 in 12 men and 1 in 10 women manage to lose 5-10% of their body weight, a concerning amount did not manage to hold their hard work steady for too long.
Over 50% regained all the weight back in the first two years after and an even more staggering 78% in the first five years. The studies highlighted a completely different kind of problem and showed that obese patients have difficulty maintaining an even small amount of weight loss.
It’s currently one of the biggest health problems and it’s not likely to improve in the following years when probabilities are increasing for people to indulge in unhealthy food, with high calorie content, rich in fat and in salt.
However, it revealed that perhaps a new approach is in order. The solution could be in better education concerning obesity. While most suggest a good regiment of diet and exercising to achieve weight loss, few people receive proper advice on how to keep it off. Maintaining is equally important.
The study might pave the way for doctors and dieticians to help prevent obesity, by either informing patients on how to keep themselves from regaining the weight or stop them before the problem even begins.
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