Effective Short-, Long-Term Weight-Loss Strategies Differ

Findings from secondary analysis of data for overweight/obese postmenopausal women

FRIDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- In postmenopausal women, some weight-loss strategies that are successful for the short-term are not effective or sustainable for long-term weight loss, according to a study published in the September issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Bethany Barone Gibbs, Ph.D., from the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues studied 481 overweight and obese postmenopausal women participating in a randomized weight-loss intervention trial. Changes in weight were assessed at six and 48 months.

The researchers found that, among all participants at six months, weight loss was significantly independently associated with decreases in desserts, restaurant eating, sugar-sweetened beverages, and fried foods, and increased fish consumption. For intervention participants (241), results were similar. For the controls (240), only reduced desserts and fried foods were associated with weight loss. Similarly, in all participants at 48 months, weight loss was significantly associated with decreased desserts and sugar-sweetened beverages, but also decreased meats/cheeses and increased fruits/vegetables. Decreased meats/cheeses predicted weight loss in intervention participants, while decreased desserts, decreased sugar-sweetened beverages, and increased fruits/vegetables were independently associated with weight loss in controls.

"Changes in eating behaviors were associated with weight change, although important behaviors differed for short-and long-term weight change and by randomization group," the authors write.

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