In addition to high BMI, people who have repeatedly tried to lose weight reported a higher tendency to deliberately limit food intake to control weight, as well as uncontrolled eating habits, than those who did not try to lose weight
. The study examined weight management among Finnish adults with special reference to the history of weight loss, defined as the number of weight loss attempts during a lifetime.
Researchers have studied the relationship between a lifelong history of weight loss and eating habits, i.e., dietary restrictions, uncontrolled eating, and emotional eating, as well as anthropometric factors such as weight and waist circumference, and metabolic factors, such as plasma insulin and cholesterol. In addition,
the study examined the motives behind individual weight management efforts, the challenging barriers to these efforts, and the general strategies for achieving weight goals.
Data was collected between two projects. In the Kuluma project (Buyers in the Weight Management Market), 2,346 participants were contacted in the lobby of two supermarkets or on a web-based survey. The StopDia (Stop Diabetes) study, on the other hand, involved 2,684 adults at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and its data included estimates collected before and after lifestyle
interventions aimed at reducing risk factors for type 2 diabetes. In both projects, the life history of weight loss is tested by the question ‘Have you ever tried to lose weight during your lifetime?’. Responses can be ‘no’, ‘no, but I have been trying to keep my weight stable’, ‘yes, 1-2 times’, ‘yes, 3 times or more’, and ‘yes, continuously’.
StopDia participants who reported a few previous weight loss attempts also showed significantly higher waist circumference. In addition, those who tried to lose weight often reported more emotional diets, which were defined as the tendency to overeat in response to negative emotions,
compared with those who did not have previous weight loss attempts. Instead, those who had not previously tried to lose weight showed a significant decrease in their fasting plasma concentrations following a one-year lifestyle intervention.
According to research, the most important motivations for weight management were to maintain mobility, health, and well-being. Exercise and dieting were the most commonly used weight loss strategies. Eating and handling disorders, as well as a lack of self-control have been reported to be the most important barriers to weight control.
Participants can be divided into three different groups based on facilitators, barriers, and weight management strategies: 42% classified as “Struggle”, 34% as “Independent” and 24% as “Determined”. “Struggle” seems to be the least effective and “Determined”
most effective in weight control, as “Struggle” reported an indication of high body weight and a very low level of weight satisfaction and they saw very weight control barriers. . On the other hand,
“Determined” reported the lowest weight index, the highest weight satisfaction and they realized that barriers could hamper their weight management efforts.
Repeated efforts to lose weight should be avoided
Worldwide, obesity is slowly increasing.
“These days, people are more aware of the health consequences of overweight such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease. As well as being thin at the same time, trying to lose weight has become quite common in society.
Since most of the effects of weight loss are temporary and do not last long, repeated attempts to lose weight are possible, ”said Dr. Researcher Faranak Halali of the University of Eastern Finland, presenting the findings of his PhD thesis.
Obesity is an incurable disease, which needs to be treated in the same way as any other incurable disease. Obesity management requires lifelong adjustment to the human daily routine, which requires identification of factors that may contribute to weight control.
“Repeated efforts to lose weight should be avoided because of their negative association with unhealthy diet and anthropometric and metabolic profile, as well as limited gains in lifestyle changes,” Faranak Halali said.
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However, it is not yet clear whether repeated attempts to lose weight are the cause or effect of these effects. Therefore, health care professionals should discuss with their clients that weight loss is medically necessary, as well as the current resources of their clients and the reasons for weight loss.
“Next, an appropriate and concrete plan based on evidence-based long-term weight management strategies should be put in place, taking into account the potentially harmful consequences of repeated weight loss efforts,” concludes Faranak Halali.