Exercise Is Key for Long-Term Weight Loss

July 28, 2008

Sustaining a 10 percent or more weight loss requires fairly high levels of physical activity in combination with reduced energy intake, according to an article published in the July 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

MONDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- Sustaining a 10 percent or more weight loss requires fairly high levels of physical activity in combination with reduced energy intake, according to an article published in the July 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

John M. Jakicic, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania and colleagues invited 201 overweight and obese women with a body mass index of 27 to 40 to participate in a study that randomized patients to one of four behavioral weight loss intervention groups. The interventions varied energy expenditure (1,000 or 2,000 kilocalories per week) and physical activity intensity (moderate versus vigorous). Participants were told to reduce daily intake to 1,200 to 1,500 kilocalories.

While weight loss did not significantly differ between the four interventions, average weight loss at six months was 8 percent to 10 percent of initial body weight and at 24 months was 5 percent of initial body weight. Individuals who had lost at least 10 percent of their initial body weight reported more physical activity than those who lost less than 10 percent of initial body weight.

"The addition of 275 minutes per week of physical activity, in combination with a reduction in energy intake, is important in allowing overweight women to sustain a weight loss of more than 10 percent," the authors write. "Interventions to facilitate this level of physical activity are needed."

Jakicic is on the Scientific Advisory Board for BodyMedia Inc. and the Calorie Control Council.

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