Diabetes_Care_Supplemental_Materials_with_cover_page_.pdf (408.87 kB)
Download file

Weight Change During the Postintervention Follow-up of Look AHEAD

Download (408.87 kB)
posted on 14.04.2022, 19:38 authored by Rena R. Wing, Rebecca H. Neiberg, Judy L. Bahnson, Jeanne M. Clark, Mark A. Espeland, James O. Hill, Karen C. Johnson, William C. Knowler, KayLoni Olson, Helmut Steinburg, Xavier Pi-Sunyer, Thomas A. Wadden, Holly Wyatt, the Look AHEAD Research Group
Objective. Patients with type 2 diabetes are encouraged to lose weight, but excessive weight loss in older adults may be a marker of poor health and subsequent mortality. We examined weight changes during the post-intervention period of Look AHEAD, a randomized trial comparing intensive lifestyle intervention (ILI) and diabetes support and education (DSE; control) in individuals with overweight/obesity and type 2 diabetes and sought to identify predictors of excessive post-intervention weight loss and its association with mortality.

Research Design and Methods. These secondary analyses compared post-intervention weight change (year-8 to final visit [median 16 years]) in ILI and DSE in 3999 Look AHEAD participants. Using empirically derived trajectory categories, we compared four subgroups: Weight Gainers (N= 307), Weight Stable (N=1561), Steady Losers (N=1731) and Steep Losers (N=380) on post-intervention mortality, demographic variables and health status at randomization and year-8.

Results. Post-intervention weight change averaged -3.7 ±9.5%, with greater weight loss in DSE than ILI. The steep weight loss trajectory subgroup lost on average 17.7 + 6.6%.; 30% of Steep Losers died during post-intervention follow-up vs 10-18% in other trajectories (p<. 0001). The following variables distinguished Steep Losers from Weight Stable: Baseline - older; longer diabetes duration; higher BMI; greater multimorbidity; Intervention – randomization to control group; less weight loss in years 1-8; Year 8 - higher prevalence of frailty, multimorbidity and depressive symptoms; lower use of weight control strategies.

Conclusion. Steep weight losses post-intervention were associated with increased risk of mortality. Older individuals with longer duration diabetes and multi-morbidity should be monitored for excessive, unintentional weight loss.


Look AHEAD was funded as a Cooperative Agreement (U01) in which NIH and the Principal Investigators worked together to design the trial.