DOI: 10.1002/osp4.724 ISSN: 2055-2238

Importance of early weight loss and other predictors of lower weight loss in a commercial program: A secondary data analysis

Christopher D. Coleman, Jessica R. Kiel, Liana L. Guarneiri, Marjorie Bell, Meredith L. Wilcox, Kevin C. Maki, Jessica L. Unick, Satya S. Jonnalagadda
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism



There is substantial inter‐individual variability in response to weight loss interventions and emerging evidence suggests that weight loss during the early weeks of an intervention may be predictive of longer‐term weight loss. This secondary analysis of data from a commercial program therefore examined 1) the associations between early weight loss (i.e., week 4) with final visit weight loss and duration on the program, and 2) other predictors of lower weight loss at final visit.


Client charts of adults with overweight or obesity (N = 748) were analyzed. Clients were stratified into categories of weight loss at the week 4 (< and ≥2%, 3% and 4%) and final visits (< and ≥5% and 10%). Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess predictors of <5% and <10% final visit weight loss.


The odds ratios for losing <5% or <10% of weight at the final visit were higher (49.0 (95% CI: 13.84, 173.63) and 20.1 (95% CI: 6.96, 58.06)) for clients who lost <2% or <3% compared to those who lost ≥2% or ≥3% at week 4. Other predictors of not losing a clinically relevant amount of weight included female sex, use of higher calorie meal plans and shorter time in the program, among others. Those who lost ≥2% at week 4 also had a significantly greater percent program completion (109.2 ± 75.2% vs. 82.3 ± 82.4, p < 0.01) compared with those who did not meet the 2% threshold.


Lower 4‐week weight loss was identified as a strong predictor of not losing a clinically relevant amount of weight. These results may be useful for the early identification of individuals who can be targeted for additional counseling and support to aid in attaining weight loss goals.

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