Weight Loss Strategies Effectiveness Comparison

The chart below compares the long-term effectiveness of four different obesity treatments: diet and exercise, weight loss medications and bariatric surgery.

  • Bariatric surgery clearly has the best weight loss outcome compared to the other two treatments — 50 to 70 percent of people were able to lose at least 50 percent of the excess weight and keep it off for five years.
  • After five years, only 2 to 5 percent of the people who dieted and exercised had maintained a weight loss of at least 10 percent.
  • People who had taken weight loss medications were not able to maintain any weight loss.
Diet and Exercise 2% to 5% total body weight
Medication 7% to 10% total body weight
Intragastric Balloon 30 to 50 lbs.
Bariatric Surgery 50% to 70% excess weight