Demographic factors do not predict weight loss maintenance in members of a commercial weight loss organisation

S. Whybrow, A. McConnon, M. Gibbs, M. Raats, R. J. Stubbs

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstractpeer-review


Demographic factors are important correlates of predisposition to obesity but much less is known about how they relate to weight loss and its maintenance. This analysis examined the demographic predictors of weight loss maintenance (WLM) in 1428 participants of a slimming organisation, who had been members for a mean ± SD of 16 ±16 months, had lost 13.8% ± 9.2% weight and were trying to maintain, or increase, their weight loss during a subsequent 6 month study period. Data were collected as part of the DiOGenes study1. Ethical approval was given by the University of Surrey Ethics Committee. Adults were recruited between August 2006 and July 2008 from Slimming World at group meetings and by email. Participants’ weights (using calibrated scales) were taken from group records at four time points, measurement 1 (M1) at the start of the study period, nominally six months later (measurement 2 (M2)), six months before M1 and when they initially enrolled with Slimming World. Participants were free to continue following the weight-loss programme as they wished during this study, and there was no intervention other than completing the questionnaires. Participants completed a general screening questionnaire at M1 relating to age, gender, marital status, education level achieved, employment status, number of adults and children in the household, monetary expenditure on food, number of siblings, weight history, weight history of parents and siblings, medical history (whether a doctor had told them they have had obesity, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease or stroke), medical history of parents and siblings, alcohol intake, smoking status, and birth weight. Linear regression analysis was used to identify the associations between questionnaire responses and weight change (as % M1 weight) over the 6 month study period. Mean age was 46.8 years for women, 50.8 years for men; 95% were women. There was no association between age, sex, marital status or family structure and subsequent WLM. Heavier people lost a greater percentage of their weight during the study period than did lighter people (p
Original languageEnglish
Article numberE403
JournalProceedings of the Nutrition Society
Issue numberOCE6
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Bibliographical note

Nut Soc 2011


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