Objective To examine the long-term effect on weight maintenance and dietary habits of participants in a clinical trial for weight loss.
Setting Community-based residents living in Maryland.
Participants Forty-four hypertensive, overweight adults who participated in a randomized clinical trial of weight loss. Participants were randomized to an intensive ‘lifestyle’ intervention or a ‘monitoring’ group.
Main outcome measures Weight, self-reported current intake of fat and fruit/fibre and self-reported barriers to maintain weight loss were assessed 1 year after the completion of the Diet, Exercise and Weight-loss Intervention Trial (DEW-IT) trial.
Analysis t-tests were used to compare groups for differences in continuous variables and chi-square tests were used to compare groups for categorical variables.
Results Fourty-two of the 44 DEW-IT subjects participated in the follow-up study. Overall, 55% (12/19) of the lifestyle intervention group remained at or below their baseline weight at 1 year, compared with 48% (11/23) of the monitoring group (P = 0.32). However, during that year, 95% (18/19) of the lifestyle intervention group and 52% (12/23) of the monitoring group gained weight from the end of the study. Both groups reported similar intake of fruits/vegetables (servings day−1), dietary fibre (g day−1) and fat (g day−1).
Conclusions and implications The majority of participants who lost weight during the trial regained weight during the course of 1 year. A successful intensive 2-month programme of lifestyle modification (DEW-IT) was ineffective for long-term maintenance of weight loss.