Up to 7 Years of Sustained Weight Loss for Weight-Loss Program Completers.
INTRODUCTION: Two issues remain elusive in weight management programs: significant, long-term weight-loss maintenance and widely accessible programs that produce significant weight loss for reasonable costs. The purpose of this study is to determine the long-term weight loss of participants who consecutively renew their annual membership in Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS), a national, nonprofit, low-cost, peer-led weight-loss program. METHODS: This completers' analysis was a retrospective cohort study of overweight and obese men and women who joined TOPS in 2005-2011 and consecutively renewed their annual membership at least once. Data were analyzed from June to October 2013. TOPS participants' weights are sent to the national database when they join and at the time of their annual renewal; thus, follow-up weight is only available for those who renew their membership. Among 207,469 individuals who joined during the study period, 74,629 (35.9%) had at least one consecutive annual renewal and were included in the study. RESULTS: Cumulative mean (95% CI) weight change as a percentage of initial weight ranged from -6.0% (-6.0%, -5.9%) for 74,629 participants who renewed at 1 year to -8.3% (-8.7%, -7.8%) for 2,289 participants with 7 years of consecutive annual renewal. CONCLUSIONS: In the subset of individuals who choose to renew their program membership, TOPS can effectively promote maintenance of clinically significant weight loss for an extended period of time. RCTs are needed to further evaluate this low-cost, widely available program, which could be a viable option to treat overweight and obesity.
Mitchell, NS; Polsky, S; Catenacci, VA; Furniss, AL; Prochazka, AV
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