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April 5, 1995

Weight Cycling

Author Affiliations

New England Deaconess Hospital Boston, Mass

JAMA. 1995;273(13):998. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520370038026

To the Editor.  —The recent National Institutes of Health (NIH) Task Force report on obesity1 identifies our article2 as a "widely cited study" describing the health risks of weight cycling. The task force erroneously groups our article with others cited in the meta-analysis that do not reflect weight cycling in each individual and do not use obese subjects in their study cohort.We agree with most of the conclusions of the NIH Task Force on obesity concerning weight cycling. However, we still caution about the risk of weight cycling in seriously obese patients as represented in our study but omitted in other studies cited by the task force. Even with the risk of weight cycling, significantly obese patients should attempt medically supervised long-term weight loss, normal-weight individuals should concentrate efforts to prevent weight gain, and patients must understand that successful weight loss requires permanent lifestyle changes.The meta-analysis

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