Use of a Weight Loss Index for Evaluating Weight Management in Adults

Miller, Wayne C.; Henricson, Hilary L.; Moreland, Megan M.
January 2007
Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior;Jan/Feb2007, Vol. 39 Issue 1, p13
Academic Journal
Objective: A quantitative method for evaluating weight loss using the body mass index (BMI) standard 25, during part or the entire weight loss continuum, was designed and tested. Design: Weight Loss Index (WLI) represents the area under tile curve of the graphical representation of the weight loss attempt; x-axis=time, y-axis=BMI, BMI standard=25.0. Selling: Reliability of the WLI for 1-5 years of weight loss efforts in 50 overweight (BMI=39.1±7.6) patients was evaluated by comparing their calculated WLI to a weight loss ratio, derived using a traditional 2-point comparison. Weight Loss Index sensitivity was tested by sending weight loss scenarios to obesity experts, who were asked to rank success of each weight loss attempt within a scenario. Expert rankings were compared to WLI rankings. Variables Measured: Age, weight, height, BMI, WLI. Analysis: Dependent t-test for WLI versus pre-post BMI values. Spearman's collection coefficients for WLI versus expert rankings. Significance, P<.05. Results: Weight Loss index better described weight loss attempts for overweight adults than did traditional 2-point comparisons. Obesity experts could not distinguish differences in weight loss success among patients with fluctuating weights, but the WLI categorically ranked these individuals. Conclusions and Implications: Using the WLI, researchers and clinicians can compare the weight Ires attempts within an individual, among individuals, and among groups of individuals against the standard BMI reference of 25.0.


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