Diet, behavior modification, and exercise: a review of obesity treatments from a long-term perspective

South Med J. 1991 Dec;84(12):1470-4.


Reviewed herein are the long-term weight loss outcomes of three fairly recent major modifications of standard dietary therapy for obesity. Appraised separately and in combination, these therapeutic approaches are very low calorie diets (VLCD), behavior modification, and exercise. The weight loss results from VLCD are impressive for only the first 6 to 10 months. Adding behavioral procedures to VLCD increases the weight loss for the first year or two, but not in 3 to 5 years. Adding exercise further increases the weight loss at 1 to 2 years, and those who continue regular exercise achieve the best weight loss results 1 to 6 years later.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy*
  • Diet, Reducing*
  • Exercise*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Obesity / therapy*