Losing Weight is a Losing Battle: Now a Scientific Fact
Earlier today, The New York Times published a report on weight loss from a scientist who followed up with past participants of NBC's "The Biggest Loser."
In short, 13 of 14 contestants in the study gained most of the weight back after leaving the show. Researchers discovered contestants’ metabolisms were slower than ever before, and susceptible to weight gain than before starting the show's regimen.
Scientist Kevin Hall was inspired after watching “Biggest Loser” contestant Danny Cahill win Season 8 of the competition in 2009. The project, six years in the making, was the first to measure what happened to people after they had lost large amounts of weight with a rigorous dieting and exercise program.
Researchers found the weight gain was from extremely low levels of leptin, the hormone that controls hunger. All the contestants started out with normal levels of leptin, but almost had no leptin at all by the end of the season. As they gained weight their leptin levels increased, but only to about half of what they started out with when first on the show. Less leptin, more cravings.
With the new found studies (which didn't include average or obese people, BTW), doctors are hoping to get closer to find out ways of keeping weight off.
While reading the study, most were thinking what Dr. David Ludwig, the director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, said about the research (that he was not a part of):
“This is a subset of the most successful” dieters, he said. “If they don’t show a return to normal in metabolism, what hope is there for the rest of us?”