A comparison of maintenance-tailored therapy (MTT) and standard behavior therapy (SBT) for the treatment of obesity

Robert W. Jeffery, Rona L. Levy, Shelby L. Langer, Ericka M. Welsh, Andrew P. Flood, Melanie A. Jaeb, Patricia S. Laqua, Annie M. Hotop, Emily A. Finch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate a maintenance-tailored therapy (MTT) compared to standard behavior therapy (SBT) for treatment of obesity. Main outcome measure: change in body weight. Method: A non-blinded, randomized trial comparing effectiveness of MTT and SBT in facilitating sustained weight loss over 18 months; 213 adult volunteers ≥ 18 years participated. SBT had fixed behavioral goals, MTT goals varied over time. Study conducted at the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, January 2005 through September 2007. Results: Mean (SD) weight losses at 6, 12, and 18 months were 5.7 (5.0) kg, 8.2 (8.6) kg and 8.3 (8.9) kg for MTT and 7.4 (3.9) kg, 10.7 (8.2) kg and 9.3 (8.8) kg for SBT. Total weight loss did not differ by group at 18 months, but the time pattern differed significantly (p < 0.001). The SBT group lost more weight in the first 6 months. Both groups lost similar amounts between 6 and 12 months; MTT had stable weight between 12 and 18 months, while SBT experienced significant weight gain. Conclusions: The MTT approach produced sustained weight loss for an unusually long period of time and not achieved in previous trials of behavioral treatment for weight loss. The MTT approach, therefore, deserves further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-389
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Maintenance
  • Obesity
  • Treatment
  • Variety
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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