Yet another study on the futility of losing weight has been making the media rounds. These things piss me off. Not so much the study, but how the abstract gets passed around and highlights taken out to make it seem like anyone trying to lose weight is doomed. Just doomed.
Here is a link to the abstract: Click here. I will copy the pertinent info that is being shared:
Objectives. We examined the probability of an obese person attaining normal body weight.
Conclusions. The probability of attaining normal weight or maintaining weight loss is low. Obesity treatment frameworks grounded in community-based weight management programs may be ineffective.
Sounds depressing, right? Makes you wonder if anyone read the actual report, which is here: click here.
I will outline the salient points to put this study in perspective:
1. The study followed patients 20 and older and looked at BMI over time at subsequent doctor visits. They excluded anyone who had gastric bypass surgery and focused on patients with overweight/obese BMI.
2. The study does not note whether or not any of these patients were trying to lose weight or not. They just documented BMI on subsequent office visits over time and noted whether it went up or down. You can bet there were plenty of those patients that were not even dieting. They noted that if a BMI went down over time, it was likely to go back up again, possibly meaning the person was dieting, but they could not verify that since they were not tracking who was/was not trying to lose weight.
3. The most important note to me: The criteria for successfully losing and maintaining loss was to achieve a ‘normal’ BMI of 25 or below and keep it off. So if you lost 100 pounds, kept it off, and your BMI was still 28 – you were not considered a ‘success’, but part of the statistic of how hard it is to get to and maintain a ‘normal’ body weight. So take that those of you who have kept off a large amount of weight, but aren’t ‘normal’. Apparently that means little. Idiots.
So, while the study itself can be read with many caveats, what to people see in the media?
Headlines like “Weight Loss Difficult for the Obese” – well, d’uh… 🙄
Or “Slim Chance: Most Obese People Likely To Stay That Way“. Oh the puns, haha…not.
and even “Obese people almost never attain a normal weight“. So give up now before you waste your time!
That is not encouraging. Anyone reading the superficial would not even want to bother if the odds appear to be so stacked against them. Well, you know – living a healthy lifestyle and getting rid of at least some of the excess weight is the best thing you can do for yourself. You may never get to a ‘normal’ weight, but you can change your life for the better. As always, it’s not all or nothing.