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BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 20 March 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:636

Regular personal support helps high risk slimmers maintain weight loss

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Losing weight is hard enough, but keeping it off is an even greater challenge, say researchers. All the successful slimmers in their recent trial gradually regained weight. Those left to their own devices regained significantly more than those who had regular telephone and face to face support, but the difference was disappointingly modest—at 30 months controls had regained 5.5 kg, whereas those given personal support had regained 4 kg (P=0.01).

A third group had access to an interactive website where they could set goals, plot their progress, and learn how to keep motivated. This group did better than controls for about two years, but had regained as much weight as controls by the end of the 30 month follow-up.

All 1032 participants were overweight or obese with a high risk of cardiovascular disease at the start of the trial. They lost a mean of 8.5 kg in a six month run-in period before randomisation. Weight regain is likely to be …

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