A recent statement written by 30 experts across Europe identified variables that should be included in all obesity trials.
When trying to assess whether a new diet, medical or surgical treatment works for weight loss, it is important to be able to compare the new results with previous studies and trials. However, this can be challenging when trials differ in the measurements they make (for example, some may use DEXA scans to measure body composition, whilst others use bioelectrical impedance). The Guidelines for OBEsity Dietary Intervention Sharing (OBEDIS) group included 30 experts from across Europe whose research and clinical experience covered areas as diverse as genetics and basic science to diet, activity, sleep, epidemiology and clinical care.
Published in Obesity Facts, the group identified a minimal set of variables that should be included in all weight loss trials or interventions. The aim is to shape the design of future trials and to learn which subgroups of people respond to one intervention over another by comparing trials more readily. The group recognised that obesity, like many conditions, is heterogeneous. People gain weight due to a combination of genetic, environmental, social and other factors. Similarly, the likelihood of a person losing weight with a particular treatment or intervention varies. By standardising how information is collected and shared, across trials and across countries, research may be more readily translated into effective weight loss interventions.