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Observational study
Weight loss ≥10% is required by the severely obese to achieve minimal clinically important differences in health-related quality of life
  1. Amy Elizabeth Rothberg
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Amy Elizabeth Rothberg, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Diabetes, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48106, USA; arothber{at}

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Among the severely obese, weight loss of 5–10% produces clinically important improvements in cardiometabolic risk and health. Whether this degree of weight loss produces meaningful improvements in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is unclear. This study determined the amount of weight loss required to achieve minimal clinically important difference (MCID), defined as the smallest change in HRQOL that a patient would identify as beneficial, as measured by three validated instruments.


This 2-year, prospective observational study enrolled 500 severely obese patients (body mass index, BMI ≥35 kg/m2) just after they entered a particular phase of the programme: 150 were waitlisted (WL), 200 medically managed (MM) and 150 received bariatric surgery (BS). Patients progressed sequentially, so all BS patients previously …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.