Background: Weight lost by obese patients is almost always regained over time. Extended treatment may improve maintenance, but solid evidence is lacking.
Purpose: We determined effectiveness of maintenance therapy after a weight loss program.
Methods: Together 201 patients (mean age 47 years and BMI 42 kg/m(2), 71% women) were randomly assigned to either a 17-week weight loss program followed by a one-year maintenance program or to a weight loss program without subsequent maintenance intervention. The weight loss program included behavior modification and a very-low-calorie diet, and maintenance program behavior modification. The primary outcome measure was percentage of patients with 5% or more weight loss at the end of maintenance (week 69) and one year later (week 121). Secondary outcomes were weight related changes in lifestyle and quality of life.
Results: At week 69, 52% of the patients with and 44% of those without maintenance program had lost weight ≥5%, P = 0.40, and, at week 121, 33% and 34%, P = 0.77, respectively. At week 121 secondary outcomes did not differ between the groups among those successfully followed up.
Conclusions: This one-year maintenance program was not effective in preventing weight regain in severely obese patients. Trial Registration. This trial is registered under clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00590655.