LONDON, July 18 (UPI) -- A new large-scale study finds the probability of obese men and women reaching and maintaining a normal body weight is extremely low.
A cohort study published in the American Journal of Public Health Thursday reads the odds of an obese man reaching a normal body mass index (BMI) during any given year is 1 in 210. For women, the annual probability is 1 in 124.
Drawing data from over 176,000 overweight men and women living in the U.K. between the years 2004 and 2014, researchers estimated the probability of their either attaining a normal BMI or losing 5 percent of their body weight.
The 9-year study finds many had a fairly easy time losing 5 percent of their body weight -- which can have major health benefits, according to the CDC -- but 78 percent of them gained it back within five years.
Additionally, about half of the men and women who lost weight at some point gained it back within a shorter amount of time: two years.
In terms of morbid obesity, researches concluded those diagnosed with it had the lowest probability of ever reaching a healthy weight. According to the study, morbidly obese men have a 1 in 1,290 chance of slimming down while women fared better with a 1 in 677 chance.
Lead author Alison Fildes from University College in London says her team's findings suggest current weight-loss strategies for obese citizens are not helping. "This might be because people are unable to access weight-loss interventions or because the interventions being offered are ineffective," she said, "or both."