I posted a few week ago about that Biggest Loser study which talked about weight regain among Biggest Loser contestants. Essentially the study found that out of a group of contestants studied several years after competing all but one had regained at least some weight. And, in general, their resting metabolic rate (RMR) remained at a level much lower than would be expected by the size of the participant. That is, they burned fewer calories than you expect using standard calculators to determine resting metabolic rate.
There was a New York Times story that talked about the study that I felt had been somewhat overhyped to assert that the study this meant that weight loss doesn’t work. Or rather, those who lose weight are doomed to regain. In my post, though, I pointed out that many of the participants had regained some weight but had maintained significant weight loss. While the reduced RMR found in the study participants is concerning, the study was also clear that the participants as a group had lost a lot of weight and maintained significant weight loss.
Now, Weight Watchers has weighed in with its interpretation of the study. I have very mixed feelings about that article. While I do feel the article makes a number of valid points, I thought its treatment of the RMR question was simplistic at best and really didn’t come to grips with the key finding of the study — that weight reduced subjects years later had lower RMRs than would be expected based upon their size. [Read more…]