Predictors of weight loss maintenance and attrition during a 6-month dietary intervention period: results from the DiOGenes study


  • Funding sources: The study was registered with, number NCT00390637.

  • Statement on prior presentation: The present data have not been previously presented or published.

  • DiOGenes is the acronym of the project ‘Diet, Obesity and Genes’, supported by the European Community (Contract no. FOOD-CT-2005-513946),

Dr T Handjieva-Darlenska, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical Faculty, Medical University, 2 Zdrave Street, 1431 Sofia, Bulgaria. E-mail:


There is a need to develop tools to predict individual weight loss maintenance and attrition prognosis. We aimed to identify predictors of weight loss maintenance outcome and attrition in subjects from eight European countries in the DiOGenes project. A total of 932 overweight/obese subjects (body mass index: 27–42 kg m−2) were enrolled in an 8-week low-calorie diet (LCD). The 776 subjects (83%) who achieved at least 8% reduction in their initial body weight were randomized into five dietary arms varying in protein content and glycemic index for a 6-month weight maintenance period. Baseline characteristics, weight loss at weeks 1, 3 and 8 of LCD were assessed as predictors of weight loss maintenance and attrition using multivariate regression and correlation models. The multivariate model showed that the 6-month weight loss maintenance was predicted by: 7.889 − 0.343 × weight loss at week 3 + 1.505 × weight loss at week 8 + 2.422 × gender (0 = male and 1 = female gender) (R2 = 51%, P = 0.0001). A greater weight loss at week 8 was associated with a lower attrition during the subsequent 6-month dietary intervention period (OR = 0.92, 95% CI: 0.88–0.97, P = 0.001). Furthermore, the men showed an increased likelihood for attrition during the dietary intervention period (OR = 1.54, 95% CI: 1.07–2.20, P = 0.02). A greater weight loss during 8 weeks of LCD and female gender predict better 6-month weight maintenance of weight loss, whereas the baseline characteristics did not predict outcome. Attrition could be strongly predicted by gender and weight loss during LCD.