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A new study suggests the majority of overweight people rarely return to their former shape through dieting, the Daily Mail reported.

The survey of 25,000 people by the Medical Research Council's National Survey of Health and Development further provided evidence of 'yo-yo dieting', a phenomenon in which people are trapped in a cycle of losing weight and regaining it.

According to the research, fewer than 10 percent of the 12 million Britons who go on a diet each year succeed in weight loss and even those who do regain the same amounts of weight within a year.

The scientists concluded it is better to avoid getting fat in the first place.

The follow-up study which measured weight, blood pressure and examined lifestyles of 5,362 men and women born in 1946 and 20,000 born in 1958, revealed both groups started gaining weight in the 1980s and continued upward in size ever since. 'A few lose weight but very few get back to normal. The best policy is to prevent people becoming overweight,' said Dr Rebecca Hardy, the council's program leader on body size.

However, such findings do not negate the benefits of dieting since eating less and working out leads to increased fitness and lower blood pressure.

Source: The Korea Herald/ANN
Published July 27 2011