Dr. James Anderson, head of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine Metabolic Research Group, led a nine-year study of patients who have lost 100 or more pounds via limited calorie intake -- 1,000 to 1,200 calories daily -- and increased physical activity such as with walking. The average weight loss was 134 pounds in 44 weeks.
The weight loss was accompanied by improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol levels, diabetes, sleep apnea -- 66 percent of the participants on medications for high blood lipids, high blood pressure, diabetes or degenerative joint disease were able to discontinue those medications.
"Many severely obese persons, needing to lose more than 100 pounds, become frustrated and turn to surgery," Anderson said in a statement. "This program has much lower risks than surgery and can lead to similar long-term weight loss."