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Can anyone successfully control their weight? Findings of a three year community-based study of men and women


This study examined the prevalence, distribution and correlates of successful weight loss and successful weight maintenance over three years in a community-based sample of 854 subjects aged 20–45 at baseline. More than half (53.7%) of the participants in the study gained weight within the first twelve months, only one in four (24.5%) successfully avoided weight gain over three years, and less than one in twenty (4.6%) lost and maintained weight successfully. The findings underscore the importance of current public health efforts to prevent weight gain, and suggest that without much greater efforts to promote and support weight control the prevalence of obesity will continue to rise.

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This research was supported by grant DK45361 from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, with additional funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. David Crawford was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council Public Health Fellowship and a Heart Foundation Nutrition Research Fellowship.

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Correspondence to D Crawford.

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Crawford, D., Jeffery, R. & French, S. Can anyone successfully control their weight? Findings of a three year community-based study of men and women. Int J Obes 24, 1107–1110 (2000).

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  • weight maintenance
  • success
  • recividism

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