National Weight Control Registry Studies Successful Weight Loss

My Bariatric Life Health Guide

    The letter in my welcome packet from the Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center addressed me as, “Dear Successful Weight Reducer.” I am one of more than 10,000 participants who are part of a research project on successful weight loss. The criteria are that participants must have lost 30 pounds or more and maintained that loss for at least a year. I have maintained more than 100 pounds lost since 2003.


    Are You Successful at Weight Loss?

    If you have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for a year or more, you may join the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR).  The NWCR is the largest study ever to be conducted on people who have lost significant amounts of weight and maintained their weight loss.

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    Purpose of the National Weight Control Registry

    The purpose of the study is to determine the behaviors associated with successful weight loss. Many people who try to lose weight are not as successful as the study participants. The researchers want to know why the study participants are so successful when other people are not.


    How the NWCR Works

    Participants’ data are entered into the National Weight Control Registry, which is operated by Brown University/The Miriam Hospital and used for research purposes. Participants provide documentation of their weight loss by “before and after” photographs or they allow the lead researcher Rena R. Wing Ph.D. to access physicians’ records of past and current weights. Dr. Wing is co-founder of the National Weight Control Registry and Professor of Psychiatry, Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center, Brown University/The Miriam Hospital.


    Participants are asked to complete a set of questionnaires once per year for the next decade. Questions focus on eating habits, exercise patterns, weight history, past and current use of dieting strategy, and related health behaviors. All questionnaires are completed online via a secure website to protect patient privacy and take approximately 60-minutes to complete.


    In addition to yearly questionnaires, participants may opt to partake in sub-studies or brief surveys and tests via the Internet and are completely at the participants’ discretion. Participants are under no obligation to join any research study offered to them.


    Lastly, participants have the option to allow the release of their contact information to journalists and news organizations who may wish to interview National Weight Control Registry participants. This is completely optional and participants may decline to answer questions asked of them during an interview or decline to be interviewed at all.


    NWCR Research Findings

    To date, the NWCR has published articles describing the eating and exercise habits of successful weight losers, the behavioral strategies they use to maintain their weight, and the effect of successful weight loss maintenance on other areas of their lives. The National Weight Control Registry also publishes weight loss success stories of registry members to inspire and motivate others to their own successful weight loss.


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    My Bariatric Life



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    Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center

    The National Weight Control Registry

    Brown University/The Miriam Hospital

    Rena R. Wing, Ph.D. National Weight Control Registry

    National Weight Control Registry Sub-Studies

    National Weight Control Registry Success Stories

    How to Join the National Weight Control Registry

Published On: November 06, 2013