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Study: Reaching normal weight unlikely for obese

Posted July 17, 2015

It may be more difficult for obese people to reach a normal weight than most realize, according to a new study.

Research suggests that the likelihood to reach a regular weight is 1-of-210 for men and 1-of-214 for women.

British researchers say its unlikely people will be able to slim down to a normal weight if they’re already obese.

According to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers found people were more likely to lose 5 percent of their body weight, but most put it back on within five years.

Experts say losing between five and 10 percent of body weight can have big health benefits such as improving blood pressure and diabetes.

“That’s a recommendation I give to individuals because it’s achievable,” said Lisa Cimperman, clinical dietitian at University Hospitals Case Medical Center

Researchers looked at the health records of nearly 300,000 men and women from the United Kingdom between 2004 and 2014. Increases and decreases in weight were seen in more than a third of patients.

“We know that there are changes that happen in the brain when people become obese,” Dr. Keven Niswender of Vanderbilt University’s School of Medicine said. “Numbers like this would tell us that those changes in the brain that happen in obesity probably are not reversible.”

Officials say preventing obesity in the first place is critical.

Obese participants who lost weight through weight loss surgery were not included in the study.

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  • Erika Phipps Jul 18, 2015
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    What a terribly negative article. Learning about nutrition is key, as is keeping track of calories, and going to a doctor if it's just too hard. People can't lose weight without some sort of support whether it's medical or family etc. Also, to assume the changes in the brain of obese people aren't reversible because of the studies results is a HUGE leap. There are so many factors of why people become/stay obese, but the fact many - maybe more so in America vs the UK - DO lose enough weight and keep it off proves it's absolutely possible!!

  • Ashley Moore Jul 18, 2015
    user avatar

    It's doable, but you have to commit to a complete lifestyle change. It's difficult, and that's probably why we have an obesity issue; our society as a whole refuses anything that requires any amount of effort. Count your calories and have some willpower. Eating healthy is super delicious!