Early-treatment weight loss predicts 6-month weight loss in women with obesity and depression: Implications for stepped care

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences; Department of Psychiatry; Division of Behavioral and Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Health Psychology | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology | Women's Health


OBJECTIVE: Some adults with comorbid depression and obesity respond well to lifestyle interventions while others have poor outcomes. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether early-treatment weight loss progress predicts clinically significant 6-month weight loss among women with obesity and depression.

METHODS: We conducted a secondary analysis of data from 75 women with obesity and depression who received a standard lifestyle intervention. Relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for achieving >/=5% weight loss by 6 months were calculated based on whether they achieved >/=1 lb/week weight loss in weeks 2-8. Among those on target at week 3, we examined potential subsequent time points at which weight loss progress might identify additional individuals at risk for treatment failure.

RESULTS: At week 2, women who averaged >/=1 lb/week loss were twice as likely to achieve 5% weight loss by 6 months than those who did not (RR=2.40; 95% CI: 2.32-4.29); weight loss at weeks 3-8 was similarly predictive (RRs=2.02-3.20). Examining weight loss progress at week 3 and subsequently at a time point during weeks 4-8, 52-67% of participants were not on target with their weight loss, and those on target were 2-3 times as likely to achieve 5% weight loss by 6 months (RRs=1.82-2.92).

CONCLUSION: Weight loss progress as early as week 2 of treatment predicts weight loss outcomes for women with comorbid obesity and depression, which supports the feasibility of developing stepped care interventions that adjust treatment intensity based on early progress in this population.


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DOI of Published Version



J Psychosom Res. 2014 May;76(5):394-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2014.03.004. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of psychosomatic research

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID