NIH News Release
National Institute of Diabetes and
Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Tuesday, March 3, 1998

Leslie Curtis
(301) 496-3585

Weight Loss, Not Just for the New Year, but for Life

Washington, D.C. -- Are you still struggling to find fact-based information on safe ways to lose and keep off those extra holiday pounds? Well, struggle no more. Healthier eating and regular physical activity may help you lose weight for a lifetime, according to a new consumer brochure from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

For the 58 million Americans who are overweight, Weight Loss for Life explains do-it-yourself, non-clinical, and clinical weight loss programs and provides guidelines for choice. Other weight-loss methods, such as very low-calorie diets (VLCDs), gastric surgery to treat severely overweight patients, and prescription weight-loss drugs are also discussed. A special section on diet advises readers about the amount of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and fat required for healthy eating and describes several available diets, with advantages and disadvantages for each. The booklet also provides graphs of the Food Guide Pyramid and sample servings from the five basic food groups.

"Weight Loss for Life offers consumers information that they can use to develop a healthier lifestyle, not just short-term weight loss," says Susan Yanovski, M. D., director, Obesity and Eating Disorders Program, NIDDK.

Regular physical activity, the final focus of the booklet, is also key to a healthy life. Both vigorous and moderately intense activities promote weight loss and healthy weight. The booklet, provided by the federally funded Weight-control Information Network (WIN), is free and can be obtained by calling WIN's toll-free number, 1-800-WIN-8098, or by visiting its web site, In addition to information on weight loss, WIN's toll-free number and web site provide information on topics such as childhood obesity, choosing a safe and successful weight-loss program, weight-cycling, and binge eating disorder.

In 1994, The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) established WIN in response to the growing problem of overweight in the United States. Being overweight increases one's risk for developing heart disease, diabetes, gallbladder disease, high blood pressure, and certain forms of cancer.

For additional information on WIN, write or call:

The Weight-Control Information Network
Bethesda, MD 20892-3665
Toll-free: 1-800-WIN-8098