A recent study reveals that unfortunately, obese people are unlikely to reach a normal weight and keep the pounds off on the long run. Therefore, preventing obesity is crucial.
The study was conducted by a team of researchers from the King’s College London, led by Dr. Alison Fields, who closely analyzed almost 280,000 subjects from the UK Clinical Practice Research Database. The subjects were monitored for a 10-year period starting in 2004 and their weight gain and weight loss patterns were studied.
The results pain quite the bleak picture, because it seems that the higher the level of obesity gets, the less likely are the people to ever shed the pounds off. The study concluded that obese men, who were defined as male individuals with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30-35, had only a 0,47% chance of ever getting their BMI to lower than 25, which is considered to be the highest acceptable normal value.
It seems that obese women have a higher chance of keeping a normal weight than men do, but it is only a 0,8% chance, which is absolutely desolating. The rates are so low because of the dreaded yo-yo effect, that is probably the worse aspect associated with loosing weight. It defines the fluctuation between achieving a normal weight and gain the pounds back on after a relatively short period of time.
The study revealed that 53% of the people who succeeded in loosing 5% of their body weight, which is the quota that is associated with significant effects on a person’s health, put the pounds back in a 2-year period. 78% manage to keep the pounds off for a longer time, but after five years they still became overweight again.
This is precisely why all the stories that focus on before and after footage of a person who succeeds to lose a large amount of weight don’t actually tell the whole story. While it is impressive and empowering to see that people actually manage to overcome their weight challenges, these stories might as well and with “…and he/she lived happily ever after” because they basically are fairy tales.
Overweight people who succeed in reaching a normal weight need to fight continuously to keep their newly acquired figure, because otherwise they shift back to their former weight. This is what the weight loss industry fails to mention. Instead they focus on selling “miracle drugs” that can allegedly keep the pounds off for good, or at least until you pay for the products.
Furthermore, the study points out that the entire strategy that is employed to help people loose weight has to flawed somehow, because this is what the results seem to be revealing.In their view, the main goal should be to prevent the weight gain in the first place, as this would be the ideal method to reach successful rates.
‘The greatest opportunity for stemming the current obesity epidemic is in wider-reaching public health policies to prevent obesity in the population.”, said Professor Martin Gulliford, who was part of the team of scientists behind this study.
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