Behavioral treatment of obesity: The state of the art 1976

Robert W. Jeffery, Rena R. Wing, Albert J. Stunkard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


The paper describes the effectiveness of a large-scale behavioral program for the treatment of obesity. Results are compared with previous findings in a review of similar interventions. Primary conclusions are: (1) Behavioral interventions produce consistent, but only modest, weight losses; (2) these losses are maintained over a l-year period; and (3) interclient variability is large and cannot be accounted for by known subject or program characteristics. Examination of weight loss curves showed that the rate of weight reduction slowed significantly over time, and weight losses early in treatment were highly related to later weight loss. Further research to identify sources of variability and to elucidate the relationship between behavior change and weight change is encouraged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-199
Number of pages11
JournalBehavior Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1978
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported in part by NIMH Research Grant No. MH 26482-01 to Albert J. Stunkard. Send requests for reprints to Robert W. Jeffery, Lipid Research Center, 730 Welch Road, Palo Alto, CA 94304. The authors express their appreciation to Brian Yates, Jeffrey Wi!dfogel, and Katherine Kusnick for their invaluable assistance on the project.


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