Translational Research: Bridging the Gap between Long-Term Weight Loss Maintenance Research and Practice

Jeremy D. Akers, Paul A. Estabrooks, Brenda M. Davy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


The number of US adults classified as overweight or obese has dramatically increased in the past 25 years, resulting in a significant body of research addressing weight loss and weight loss maintenance. However, little is known about the potential of weight loss maintenance interventions to be translated into actual practice settings. Thus, the purpose of this article is to determine the translation potential of published weight loss maintenance intervention studies by determining the extent to which they report information across the reach, efficacy/effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance (RE-AIM) framework. A secondary purpose is to provide recommendations for research based on these findings. To identify relevant research articles, a literature search was conducted using four databases; 19 weight loss maintenance intervention studies were identified for inclusion. Each article was evaluated using the RE-AIM Coding Sheet for Publications to determine the extent to which dimensions related to internal and external validity were reported. Approximately half of the articles provided information addressing three RE-AIM dimensions, yet only a quarter provided information addressing adoption and maintenance. Significant gaps were identified in understanding external validity, and metrics that could facilitate the translation of these interventions from research to practice are presented. Based upon this review, it is unknown how effective weight loss maintenance interventions could be in real-world situations, such as clinical or community practice settings. Future studies should be planned to address how weight loss maintenance intervention programs will be adopted and maintained, with special attention to costs for participants and for program implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1511-1522.e3
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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