Weight Gain Reduces Quality of Life
WebMD News Archive
Of the patients involved in the study, close to 40% of the women gained
between 5 and 20 pounds, approximately 40% maintained their weight, and just
over 15% lost between 5 and 20 pounds. The women ranged in age from 47 to 71,
with an average age of 58, and were followed for four years.
Franca Alphin, director of the Duke University Diet & Fitness Center,
says learning to maintain weight is as important as taking it off.
"The majority of people know how to lose weight but not maintain weight
loss," says Alphin. "The challenge to someone losing weight is to
maintain weight, and the challenge for people with normal weight is to maintain
it." She says part of the center's weight-loss program is defined periods
of weight maintenance. "When someone reaches their goal weight, typically
other issues in their lives that have been on hold come back, and food can be
reinstated as a crutch, so maintaining weight becomes more important."
Alphin advises a daily diet of 1,200-1,500 calories and an ultimate exercise
goal of 30 minutes three or four days per week. "The bottom line in dieting
is calories. You have to be aware of portions and overconsumption regardless of
what foods you choose to eat."
- Gaining 5-20 pounds over four years can significantly decrease quality of
life, but those who can maintain their weight have a high quality of life.
- In a study of 40,000 women, weight gain led to decreased physical
functioning, lower overall feelings of vitality, and increased feelings of
- Weight gain is among the strongest predictors of declining physical
functioning, and even a moderate gain can have negative effects.