ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Indigo Ointment Benefits Psoriasis Patients
Garlic Yields Up Its Health Secret
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
Barefoot Lifestyle Has Its Dangers
Get in Step With Summer Foot Care
CANCER
Vitamin C Shows Promise as Cancer Treatment
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Minorities Distrust Medical System More
CAREGIVING
Undoing the 'Big Baby' Trend
Transition From Home to Hospital Rarely Seamless
Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
DIABETES
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
DIET, NUTRITION
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
Vitamin D Vital for the Heart
Is Coffee Good or Bad for Your Health?
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Showerheads Harbor a Bounty of Germs
Fertilizer Ban Makes a Difference
Short-Term Air Pollution Exposure May Damage DNA
EYE CARE, VISION
Americans Losing Sight of Eye Health
Protein Might One Day Prevent Blindness
Don't Lose Sight of Halloween Safety
FITNESS
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Maximize Your Run
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Vitamin D and Bone Health: Are You Getting Enough of This Important Vitamin?
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
A Little Chocolate May Do the Heart Good
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
MENTAL HEALTH
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
Drink Away Dementia?
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
SENIORS
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Add your Article

Quick Weight Loss May Be Best for Long-Term Success

When it comes to weight-loss patterns, the old adage proclaims that "slow and steady" wins the race, but recent research suggests otherwise.

A new study found that obese women who started out losing 1.5 pounds a week or more on average and kept it up lost more weight over time than women who lost more slowly. They also maintained the loss longer and were no more likely to put it back on than the slowest losers, the researchers added.

The results shouldn't be interpreted to mean that crash diets work, said study author Lisa Nackers, a doctoral student in clinical psychology at the University of Florida, Gainesville. Her report is published online in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine.

Rather, she said, the quicker weight loss of the fast-losing group reflected their commitment to the program, Nackers said. "The fast group attended more sessions [to talk about weight loss], completed more food records and ate fewer calories than the slow group."

Fast loss is relative. For her study, Nackers said, "fast losers are those who lost at least a pound and a half a week."

The faster loss resulted from their active participation in the program, she said. "Those who make the behavior changes early do better in terms of weight loss and long term [in keeping it off]."

For the study, Nackers drew from data on 262 participants in an obesity treatment trial that included middle-aged women, average age 59, who were obese, with an average body-mass index (BMI) of 36.8 (30 and above is obese).

During the six-month intervention, they were encouraged to reduce calories enough to lose about a pound a week. The follow-up was another 12 months, for a total of 18 months.

When Nackers tracked the weight loss, she divided the women into three groups: 69 were in the fast group, losing about 1.5 pounds or more a week; 104 were in the moderate group, losing about a half pound to under 1.5 pounds a week, and 89 were in the slow group, losing less than a half pound weekly.

At six months, the fast group had lost an average of 29.7 pounds, the moderate group 19.6 and the slow group 11.2.

After 18 months, the fast group was 5.1 times more likely to achieve 10 percent weight loss -- a good goal for improving health -- than the slow group, and the moderate group was nearly three times as likely.

Nackers found no significant differences in weight regain among the three groups.

The results are no surprise to Alice Lichtenstein, director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at Tufts University in Boston. "It confirms that those individuals who are more adherent to the weight loss intervention lost more weight," she said.

"I think the point is, you want people to make changes in their diet and physical activity patterns so they start losing weight and maintain the loss," she said.

Nackers agreed, saying the study results should in no way encourage people to go on fad diets but to adopt healthier lifestyle behaviors.

SOURCES: Lisa Nackers, doctoral student, University of Florida, Gainesville; Alice H. Lichtenstein, D.Sc.; Stanley J. Gershoff Professor of Nutrition Science and Policy, Friedman School, Tufts University, director and senior scientist, Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory, USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston; May 5, 2010, International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, online Published on: May 14, 2010