Obese people less likely to return to normal weight, study says

In a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers found that obese people are highly unlikely to recover to a normal weight, the International Business Times reported.

According to the study, there is a 1-in-210 chance for an obese man and a 1-in-124 chance for an obese woman to have a healthy body weight. Study participants showed a 1-in-12 chance for men and 1-in-10 chance for women to lose 5 percent of their weight. A third of all patients’ weight fluctuated over time.

The chance for those who were diagnosed with severe obesity to return to a normal weight was 1-in-1,290 for men and 1-in-1,290 for woman.

Researchers at King’s College London followed 279,000 men and women through British health records from 2009 to 2014, tracking weight changes. They noted that their findings suggest the failed results of current public health attempts to fix obesity.

"Once an adult becomes obese, it is very unlikely that they will return to a healthy body weight. New approaches are urgently needed to deal with this issue," first author Alison Fildes said, in a press release. "Obesity treatments should focus on preventing overweight and obese patients gaining further weight, while also helping those that do lose weight to keep it off. More importantly, priority needs to be placed on preventing weight gain in the first place."

Researchers also noted that wider-reaching public health policies were the greatest opportunity to stem the obesity epidemic.

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