This study was supported in part by NIH Grant P30DK056336.
Empirical evidence does not support an association between less ambitious pre-treatment goals and better treatment outcomes: a meta-analysis
Article first published online: 18 APR 2013
© 2013 The Authors. obesity reviews © 2013 International Association for the Study of Obesity
Volume 14, Issue 7, pages 532–540, July 2013
How to Cite
Durant, N. H., Joseph, R. P., Affuso, O. H., Dutton, G. R., Robertson, H. T. and Allison, D. B. (2013), Empirical evidence does not support an association between less ambitious pre-treatment goals and better treatment outcomes: a meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews, 14: 532–540. doi: 10.1111/obr.12038
- Issue published online: 20 JUN 2013
- Article first published online: 18 APR 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 6 MAR 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 13 FEB 2013
- Manuscript Received: 3 DEC 2012
- NIH. Grant Number: P30DK056336
- Desired weight loss outcomes;
- weight loss goals
Setting realistic weight loss goals may play a role in weight loss. We abstracted data from randomized controlled trials and observational studies conducted between 1998 and 2012 concerning the association of weight loss goals with weight loss. Studies included those that (i) were conducted in humans; (ii) delivered a weight loss intervention; (iii) lasted ≥6 weeks; (iv) assessed baseline weight loss goals; (vi) assessed pre- and post-weight either in the form of body mass index or some other measure that could be converted to weight loss based on information included in the original study or later provided by the author(s); and (vii) assessed the correlation between weight loss goals and final weight loss or provided data to calculate the correlation. Studies that included interventions to modify weight loss goals were excluded. Eleven studies met inclusion criteria. The overall correlation between goal weight and weight at intervention completion was small and statistically insignificant (; P = 0.20). The current evidence does not demonstrate that setting realistic goals leads to more favourable weight loss outcomes. Thus, our field may wish to reconsider the value of setting realistic goals in successful weight loss.