Purpose of review: To describe the short-term and long-term results of lifestyle modification for obesity.
Recent findings: Randomized controlled trials, which compared different diet and activity interventions were reviewed. Studies that investigated the efficacy of new technologies to provide lifestyle modification, such as web-based delivery, also were examined.
Summary: In general, comprehensive lifestyle modification programs delivered in person induce a loss of approximately 10% of initial weight in 16-26 weeks of treatment. The use of portion-controlled diets, which typically involve the use of meal replacement products, was associated with significantly larger weight losses in the short term. In contrast, interventions delivered via the Internet induced a loss of approximately 5%. However, web-based programs appear to have potential in facilitating the continuation on patient-provider contact, which along with high levels of physical activity, appear to be key strategies for successful long-term weight control. Recent studies also have suggested that the combination of lifestyle modification with long-term use of pharmacotherapy holds promise for maximizing initial weight losses and promoting long-term maintenance.