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Weight Loss Programs Help People Keep The Pounds Off, But Success Is Still Rare

New preliminary research recently presented at the Society of General Internal Medicine’s annual meeting provides somewhat mixed news for those hoping to lose weight permanently.
The researchers, hailing from the University of Colorado Anschutz in Aurora, Colo., analyzed data from participants who took part in one of the longest-running weight loss programs around: the Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS) program. They specifically looked at the 65,559 participants who had enrolled in the program from 2005 to 2010 and renewed their annual membership at least twice. By the end of the first year, half had accomplished significant weight loss, defined as losing more than 5 percent of their original weight. Of these successful participants who could be tracked for up to seven years after they first joined, 80 to 95 percent kept the pounds off.