What percentage of dieters regain their lost weight and/or go on to add more pounds?
A. 75 percent
B. 87 percent
C. 95 percent
D. 98 percent
Answer: What percentage of dieters regain their lost weight?
c. [ 95 percent
It is a depressing article of faith among the overweight and those who treat them that 95 percent of people who lose weight regain it - and sometimes more - within a few months or years.
That statistic has been quoted widely over the last four decades, in Congressional hearings, diet books, research papers and
seminars. And it is the reason so many people approach dieting with a sense of hopelessness.
But in fact, obesity researchers say, no one has any idea how many people can lose weight and keep it off. Now, as researchers try to determine how many people have succeeded, they are also studying the success stories for lessons that might inspire others to try.
''That 95 percent figure has become clinical lore,'' said Dr. Thomas Wadden, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. There is no basis for it, he said, ''but it's part of the mythology of obesity.''
Dr. Kelly D. Brownell, the director of the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders, said the number was first suggested in a 1959 clinical study of only 100 people. The finding was repeated so often that it came to be regarded as fact, he said.
There are no new answers.