After 5 years, most reports show that less than 10% of people maintain a 5% loss from initial body weight. Weight maintenance after 10 years is rarely assessed, especially in commercial programs. The current article reports weight maintenance in individuals who had participated 2 to 11 years earlier in a popular commercial weight loss program based on Canada's Food Guide called Mincavi.
Randomly picked subjects answered a telephone questionnaire. Participants, 291 adult women from various regions of the province of Quebec, had followed the program 2 to 11 years earlier for at least a month. Body weight at the beginning and at the end of treatment was recorded as well as actual weight, age and height. Existing records allowed partial verification of the sample.
Based on corrected weights, percentage of women who maintained at least 5% of their initial weight loss are as following; 2 years = 43.6% (n = 55), 3 years = 33.3% (n = 42), 4 years = 23.8% (n = 42), 5–6 years = 38.2% (n = 55), 7–8 years = 29.4% (n = 51), and 9–11 years; 19.6% (n = 46). Five to eleven years after they had participated in the program 29.1% of all women maintained a weight loss of at least 5%, while 14.3% maintained a loss of at least 10%.
Even though success rate is not as high as could be wished for, results show that participation in the Mincavi program can lead to effective weight maintenance long after individuals have left it. These findings suggest more thorough studies should be conducted on this weight loss program.