Aim: In overweight/obese individuals, modest 5% weight loss and its maintenance promotes health; however, it is challenging and typically unachievable, especially in community settings. Established predictors of weight loss outcome in a community setting are lacking, hindering the development of practical interventions and prevention tools. Our aim was to identify predictors associated with 5% weight reduction (initial 6 months) and maintenance (1 year) in overweight and obese adults undergoing weight reduction treatment, free of charge, in a community setting. Methods: Computerised medical files of 11 842 adults aged 50.6 ± 16.3 years, attending 162 primary clinics, were analysed retrospectively. Thirty medical, biochemical and demographic independent variables were tested as potential predictors using multiple logistic regression models. Results: Significant predictors of high successful weight reduction were: not being treated with insulin (odds ratio (OR) = 0.53), higher baseline body mass index (OR = 1.05) and younger age (OR = 0.98). Weight maintenance predictors were: successful initial weight reduction (OR = 1.26), short time intervals between weighings (OR = 0.88) and frequent weighing (OR = 0.95). Visits to a dietitian were significantly associated with success during both periods: each visit raised the probability of success by 13.4 and 7.6%, respectively. Type 2 diabetes or use of hypoglycaemic drugs were not significant predictors. Conclusions: In a community-based setting, number of visits to a dietitian is a strong predictor of successful weight reduction and maintenance. Initial success is a critical predictor of weight loss maintenance. Subgroup of older, diabetic patients treated with insulin has a dramatically lower probability of weight reduction success.
- weight loss
- weight maintenance