Lessons learned from 'The Biggest Loser' study

August 1, 2016 , Wiley

Much media attention was given to a recent Obesity study that found that metabolism remained suppressed even when participants in "The Biggest Loser" television series regained much of the weight they lost while dieting. A new editorial looks at the results of this study, along with results from another recent Obesity study that examined weight gain and loss.

The editorial highlights the lessons learned from these studies that can help people struggling to maintain a in our modern "obesogenic environment" conducive to eating more, moving less, and gaining weight. For example, weight loss is possible, and a 5% to 15% weight loss is unlikely to lead to such large effects on metabolism as seen in the television series. It is also important to continue lifestyle changes implemented during the weight loss for the long term and to include medications if indicated.

"The two studies published in the August issue of Obesity clearly emphasize that after weight loss, individuals with obesity have to fight their biology and struggle to control their body weight in our current environment. However, less drastic may be beneficial for overall health, even if it still requires constant attention to controlling food intake and increasing physical activity," said Prof. Eric Ravussin, Obesity's Editor-in-Chief and co-author of the editorial.

More information: Eric Ravussin et al, Energy expenditure and weight control: Is the biggest loser the best loser?, Obesity (2016). DOI: 10.1002/oby.21586

Journal information: Obesity

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