Health Benefits of Long-Term Weight-Loss Maintenance

Annu Rev Nutr. 2015;35:475-516. doi: 10.1146/annurev-nutr-071714-034434. Epub 2015 May 13.


Obesity is a chronic and complex medical condition associated with a large number of complications affecting most organs and systems through multiple pathways. Strategies for weight management include behavioral, pharmacological, and surgical interventions, all of which can result in a reduction in obesity-related comorbidities and improvements in quality of life. However, subsequent weight regain often reduces the durability of these improvements. The objective of this article is to review evidence supporting the long-term effects of intentional weight loss on morbidity, mortality, quality of life, and health-care cost. Overall, considerable evidence suggests that intentional weight loss is associated with clinically relevant benefits for the majority of obesity-related comorbidities. However, the degree of weight loss that must be achieved and sustained to reap these benefits varies widely between comorbidities.

Keywords: bariatric; bypass; diet; obesity; outcomes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Chronic Pain
  • Comorbidity
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control
  • Fecal Incontinence
  • Female
  • Fertility
  • Gallstones
  • Health Care Costs
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Mental Health
  • Neoplasms
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / prevention & control
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / mortality
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pregnancy
  • Quality of Life
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases
  • Time Factors
  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Weight Loss*