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Gaining Insight About Losing Weight

'Boomerang' pounds are a problem

(HealthDayNews) -- Americans probably lose more weight deliberately than do people in any other country. Some of the most aggressive dieters take off the same number of pounds two or more times in a single year.

The real problem, for many people, is ridding themselves of "boomerang" pounds -- the ones that keep coming back. That's why Americans also gain more weight than they lose every year.

Few pay more attention to the subject of weight loss than the National Weight Control Registry. A collaboration between Dr. James Hillof of the University of Colorado and Dr. Rena Wing of the University of Pittsburgh, the NWCR includes a database of people who have been successful at losing weight and keeping it off.

Now in its tenth year, the database contains confidential information about more than 2,000 people who've shed at least 30 pounds and kept it off at least a year. Tracking their progress has enabled researchers to compile some interesting data:

  • The most popular form of exercise for these weight-losers is walking;
  • More than 50 percent of those in the WNCR database did not participate in a formal weight-loss program. Instead, they employed a lot of personal discipline;
  • Two-thirds of people in the database were heavy as children, and 60 percent report a family history of obesity, and;
  • The average registrant has lost 60 pounds and kept it off five years.
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