Association of weight loss maintenance and weight regain on 4-year changes in CVD risk factors: The action for health in diabetes (Look AHEAD) clinical trial

Action for Health in Diabetes (Look AHEAD) Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


OBJECTIVE: Short-term weight loss improves cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. We sought to determine the longer-term effects of maintaining weight loss or, conversely, regaining weight. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We used data from Action for Health in Diabetes (Look AHEAD), a randomized trial of intensive lifestyle intervention (ILI) compared to a control condition in over weight/obese individuals with type 2 diabetes. ILI participants were grouped according to weight change patterns, as follows: 1) no weight loss (±3% at years 1 and 4); 2) moderate weight loss (3-8% at years 1 and 4); 3) large weight loss (8-20% at years 1 and 4); 4) moderate loss/full regain (3-8%atyear 1/±3%atyear 4);5) large loss/full regain (8-20% at year 1/± 3% year 4); and 6) large loss/partial regain (8-20% at year 1/3-8% at year 4) and changes in CVD risk factors were compared. RESULTS: Adjusting for baseline differences and medication use, larger weight losses produced greater improvements in HbA1c, systolic blood pressure, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides at years 1 and 4 (all P ≤ 0.02). Despite maintenance of weight loss, HbA1c levels worsened between years 1 and 4, and remained below baseline only in those with large weight losses. We found no negative associations of losing and regaining weight relative to not having lost weight. Moreover, those who had large initial weight loss but full regain of weight had greater improvements in HbA1c levels at year 4 than those with smaller or no initial weight loss. CONCLUSIONS: Larger initial weight loss should be encouraged in individuals with type 2 diabetes, despite the possibility of regain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1345-1355
Number of pages11
JournalDiabetes care
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing

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