Factors Contributing to the Success of Weight Loss Programs

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Over the last few decades, the prevalence of obesity among US adults has increased severely. According to the 2007 Body Mass Index (BMI) scale, a BMI greater than 25 (kg/m^2) was considered overweight, while a BMI greater than 30 (kg/m^2) was considered obese. In 2007, it was determined that the majority of the adult population in the US was considered overweight and obese, while one third of this population was considered obese. This is concerning due to the number of diseases linked to obesity such as: type 2 diabetes, gallbladder disease, coronary artery disease, hypertension, osteoarthritis, and other types of cancer (Rock et al. 939).

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In order to determine the most effective strategies and interventions necessary to promote weight loss and maintenance in the general population of obese and overweight adults, a plethora of studies have been tested along with the conduction of numerous experiments. Findings from these studies provide insight on which strategies were most successful and why they were so effective. One of the most common observations was that daily physical activity along with some sustained effort to regulate food choices resulted in successful weight loss (Rock et al. 939). Another determining factor of weight change was characterized as energy intake relative to expenditure, in other words, the reduction and replacement of less healthy, more fatty foods with foods that provide a greater satisfaction but with a lower level of energy intake such as vegetables, fruit, and fiber. A last superior strategy which promoted greater weight loss was the provision of prepackaged foods, at free or minimal costs, managed within a specific nutritional meal plan rather than the use of dietary supplements. In an experiment involving about 300 overweight or obese adults, this provision increased average initial weight loss by more than 50% (Rock et al. 939).

Numerous studies in the past suggest that commercial weight loss programs such as, the Jenny Craig (JC) program, are if not equally than even more effective than traditional counseling or medical interventions (Rock et al. 939). The Jenny Craig program’s incorporation of the following features prove to be crucial in the promotion of weight loss and maintenance: individual counseling, low-energy density diet, prepackaged foods, and increased physical activity (Rock et al. 939). However, in order to test the multifaceted intervention of this program, a randomized trial had to be conducted.

Literature Review (Experimental):

The scholarly journal article, Randomized Trial of a Multifaceted Commercial Weight Loss Program, obtained using ProQuest Central, discusses an experiment with an objective of testing whether a commercial weight loss program promotes greater weight loss in overweight or obese women, along with the description of the effect on plasma lipids, carotenoids, hormones, and fitness. The sample size of this experiment was 70, the mean age: 41.1 years, and the population consisted of overweight or obese women that were randomized to either the Jenny Craig weight loss program or the control conditions group. For the results, it was determined that at the 6 month mark, the average change in weight of those in the weight loss program was -6.7 kilograms, while that of the control group was only -3.9 kilograms. After a year, the loss of 10.4 kilograms was compared to 5.6 kilograms respectively speaking from both groups. The cholesterol concentration of high-density lipoprotein increased significantly in the intervention group, and the fasting serum insulin surprisingly decreased in the intervention but increased in the control group at the 6 month mark. Under the discussion, it was determined that the commercial program does successfully facilitate weight loss, and promoted favorable changes in plasma lipid and hormone concentrations.

This article is divided into the following sections that provide insight on how and why the experiment was carried out the way it was in full detail: Introduction, Research Methods and Procedures, Results, Discussion, and Acknowledgment. The following four authors all contributed heavily to this piece of literature: Cheryl L. Rock, Bilge Pakiz, Shirley W. Flatt, Elizabeth L. Quintana. Additionally, there are 39 references from all over the world, linked to this scholarly journal.

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Factors Contributing to the Success of Weight Loss Programs. (2019, Dec 31). Retrieved November 26, 2022 , from

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