Behavioural and lifestyle changes are important for sustained weight loss, regardless of the type of obesity treatment being attempted, a new study has found.
Researchers found that severely obese patients who managed to lose weight by changing their diet and exercise habits were as successful at maintaining this weight loss in the long term as those who lost weight after obesity surgery.
However, patients who relied on non-surgical forms of obesity treatment tended to have to work harder to maintain their weight loss than those who had surgery.
Lead author Dr Dale Bond, of the Miriam Hospital's Centres for Behavioural and Preventive Medicine, said that lifestyle changes are "critical components to long-term weight loss maintenance".
He commented: "Our findings suggest that it's possible to maintain large weight losses through intensive behavioural efforts, such as changing your approach to eating and exercise, regardless of whether you lost weight with bariatric surgery or through non-surgical methods."
The findings are published in the International Journal of Obesity and are relevant to a large number of English adults as the recent government-commissioned Foresight report suggested that 22 per cent of men and 24 per cent of women were in need of obesity treatment.
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