Weight loss is tremendously difficult for obese individuals to accomplish. If achieved, long-term maintenance poses equivalent or even more daunting difficulties. There are innumerable methods espoused to help or even directly cause weight loss.
The vast majority of these are patently dishonest charlatan schemes designed to extract money from overweight individuals, and even the most legitimate methods are fraught with frequent failure. If they are successful, slow and inexorable return to preintervention weight usually follows (National Institutes of Health Technology Assessment Conference Panel, 1993). Legitimate weight loss approaches include behavioral, pharmacological, and surgical techniques, or a combination of these methods (Yanovski and Yanovski, 2002).
Revision date: July 6, 2011
Last revised: by Janet A. Staessen, MD, PhD