Exploratory analysis of eating- and physical activity-related outcomes from a randomized controlled trial for weight loss maintenance with exercise and liraglutide single or combination treatment

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Weight regain after weight loss remains a major challenge in obesity treatment and may involve alteration of eating and sedentary behavior after weight loss. In this randomized, controlled, double-blind trial, adults with obesity were randomized, in a 1:1:1:1 ratio stratified by sex and age group (<40 years and ≥40 years), to one-year weight loss maintenance with exercise, the GLP-1 receptor agonist liraglutide, or the combination, as compared with placebo, after low-calorie diet-induced weight loss. Primary outcome was change in body weight, which has been published. Here, we investigated the effects of weight loss maintenance with exercise, liraglutide, or the combination on weight loss-induced changes in the pre-specified explorative outcomes, eating and sedentary behavior in 130 participants who completed the trial according to the study protocol (exercise (n = 26), liraglutide (n = 36), combination (n = 29), and placebo (n = 39)). One year after weight loss, the placebo group had decreased postprandial appetite suppression score by 14%, and increased sedentary time by 31 min/day and regained weight. Liraglutide prevented the decrease in postprandial appetite suppression score compared with placebo (0% vs. −14%; P = 0.023) and maintained weight loss. Exercise after weight loss did not increase appetite or sedentary behavior compared with placebo, despite increased exercise energy expenditure and maintained weight loss. The combination of exercise and liraglutide increased cognitive restraint score (13% vs. −9%; P = 0.042), reflecting a conscious restriction of food intake, and decreased sedentary time by 41 min/day (−10 vs. 31 min/day; 95%CI, −82.3 to −0.2; P = 0.049) compared with placebo, which may have facilitated the additional weight loss. Targeting both eating and sedentary behavior could be the most effective for preventing weight regain. Trial registration: EudraCT number, 2015-005585-32; clinicaltrials.gov number, NCT04122716.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4770
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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