Although recent weight-loss studies suggest that newer methods more reliably produce clinically significant weight losses, maintaining these weight losses remains problematic and little researched. The present study assigned successful weight losers to one of three maintenance treatments: monthly financial contingencies for weight maintenance, monthly financial contingencies for participation in skills training sessions to solidify behavioral changes, and no treatment. Participants were males and females (N=85) who had completed a 15-week weight-loss program and had lost 10% or more of their body weight. The study lasted for one year beyond initial treatment. Across the three maintenance conditions subjects regained approximately 40% of their weight losses during the year. Mean loss after initial treatment was 29.1±9.1 lbs and at one year 17.3±15.6 lbs. Neither weight regain nor percent of subjects successfully maintaining their weight losses differed significantly across treatment conditions. Financial incentives for weight maintenance appeared the most promising in terms of the number of successful participants, but this success was offset by a large dropout rate. Points for future research are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by Grant 5R01 AM26542 to Robert W. Jeffery, Ph.D., from the National Institutes of Health. Send requests for reprints to Robert W. Jeffery, Ph.D., Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, 611 Beacon St., S. E., Stadium Gate 27, Minneapolis, MN 55455.