Obesity is linked to increased risk for early death, as well as sequelae such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and infertility.
Weight regain after an initial successful weight loss in people with obesity, constitutes an important and unsolved problem.
Until now, no study on which treatment method is best for maintaining a healthy weight loss has been available.
In a new study from the University of Copenhagen, researchers tested four different types of treatment following a diet-induced weight-loss,
They found how it is possible for people with obesity to maintain long-term weight loss.
In the study, the team showed a highly effective treatment after a diet-induced weight-loss, by combining moderate to vigorous-intensive exercise with appetite-inhibiting obesity medication.
They tested 215 people with obesity and low fitness.
The participants initially followed a low-calorie diet over eight weeks, where they each lost approximately 13 kg
The participants were then randomly divided into four groups. Two of the groups received placebo medication, while the two other groups received obesity medication.
Among the two placebo groups, one group followed an exercise program of minimum 150 minutes of physical activity at moderate intensity or 75 minutes at vigorous intensity during the week or a combination of the two, while the other group maintained their current level of physical activity.
The two groups receiving obesity medication were similarly divided into one group with and one group without an exercise program.
After one year, the group with exercise alone and the group with obesity medication alone maintained the weight loss of 13 kg and health improvements.
The placebo group gained half of the weight back with deterioration of all risk factors, for example for the development of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The most dramatic improvements occurred in the combination group, which followed the exercise program and received obesity medication.
The researchers observed additional weight loss in this group, and the total weight loss was approximately 16 kg over one year.
The health benefits were also double that of each of the single treatments, i.e., twice the loss of fat mass while preserving muscle mass, higher fitness ratings, reduced blood sugar and improved quality of life.
The two groups that exercised increased their fitness rating, lost fat mass, and gained muscle mass. This could indicate a healthier weight loss than for people, who had only lost fat mass without increasing the fitness rating.
The findings suggest that a big weight loss can be maintained with exercise for approximately 115 minutes per week performed mostly at vigorous intensity, such as cycling.
And that by combining exercise with obesity medication, the effect is twice as good as each of the individual treatments.
If you care about weight loss, please read studies about this supplement can help healthy obese people lose weight and findings of this common eating habit may lead to high blood sugar, weight gain.
For more information about obesity treatment and prevention, please see recent studies about this healthy diet may counter the harmful effects of obesity and results showing how much weight loss you need to live longer and have a healthy heart.
The study is published in The New England Journal of Medicine. One author of the study is Professor Signe Torekov.
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