Obesity facts 2018 02 1411(1) 67-82 doi 10.1159/000485838
Systematically identifying pretreatment characteristics that predict successful weight management is important to improve intervention efficacy and clinical practice. This study provides a comprehensive update of a 2005 review on pretreatment predictors of successful weight management.
Results of 37 recent original studies from peer-reviewed journals were merged with the results from the 2005 review. A critical appraisal of the 66 studies included was provided, and meta-analyses were performed when feasible.
Fewer previous weight loss attempts were the most consistent pretreatment predictor of successful weight management, although with a small effect size. Importantly, several variables were identified as non-significant predictors of weight loss, showing trivial effects (e.g., eating self-efficacy). Many psychosocial factors remain too little studied to allow reliable conclusions regarding their predictive value.
Previous dieting attempts were identified as the soundest predictor of successful weight management. Several factors, previously considered barriers to successful weight management and now identified as non-predictors, require more investigation given the limitations identified in this review. Importantly, due to a comparably thin empirical basis for many predictors, further research is essential to move the field forward. Implications of the current state of research and necessary steps to improve intervention efficacy and clinical practice are discussed.