Dropout rate of weight loss programs.
I haven’t seen much talk in the Fatospehre about the attrition rate of weight loss programs (ie dropout rate). But I want my arsenal of arguments to be complete. If the attrition rate of weight loss studies or programs fall into any kind of pattern, I think that could be an interesting piece of information.
And while reading research articles I kept coming across mention of a “high attrition rate” in research studies. In a systematic review of commercial weight loss programs the limitation was noted, “Because many studies did not control for high attrition rates, the reported results are probably a best-case scenario.”
In that same review, the attrition rate ranged from 18-67% in the first year. I found an even wider range of numbers when I looked into clinical research studies, “…attrition rates in obesity trials range from 10% to 80%.”
You read that right…10-80%. We might as well pick a number out of a hat. And this is a well studied subject. Everyone and their brother is trying to find some sort of answer as to why weight loss programs are not successful.
So, my research was a bust.
I decided I should still write about this becasue sometimes the information available doesn’t give us a conclusive answer. I mean, I could use the argument that some researchers feel the attrition rate is high enough to skew the data…but all I’d be doing is repeating a theory that I’m not entirely sure has a firm basis.
(I’m not a statistician, so I don’t know if a 10% dropout could or couldn’t be controlled for, such that the final results are still sound.)
So…I’m removing the attrition rate of weight loss studies and programs from my list of arguments. I’m filing that in my, “it’s too messy and inconclusive to explain” folder.
It’s not a very satisfying end to my journey. But, as a critical thinker, I want to build arguments I can support. This just happens to be one point I can’t use.