Weight loss maintenance in children – the window closes during adolescence

While the story for weight loss maintenance in adults is fairly dismal, children are much more likely to maintain their weight loss. In one comparison reviewed in “Long-term maintenance of weight loss: Current status” by Jeffery et al.  (Health Psychology 19.1:2000) it was found that only 4% of adults had kept their weight off years later, whereas 10-15% of pre-adolescent children had kept off the weight they had lost up to 10 years later. Adolescence seems to be the beginning of the closing of a window in which we are more able to significantly, and permanently change the eating behaviour and weight of younger children.

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