@GoogleFacts wrote in a tweet:
The chance of an obese person attaining normal body weight is 1 in 210 for men and 1 in 124 for women, according to a new study.
Are those numbers accurate?
Skeptics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for scientific skepticism. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
No, this is not quite true.
The factoid is based on a real, peer-reviewed scientific study, that is relatively new.
Probability of an Obese Person Attaining Normal Body Weight: Cohort Study Using Electronic Health Records, American Journal of Public Health, September 2015, Vol 105, No. 9, doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2015.302773
They based their evidence on looking at nine years of medical records of adults in the UK, from 2004-2014.
In simple obesity (body mass index = 30.0–34.9 kg/m2), the annual probability of attaining normal weight was 1 in 210 for men and 1 in 124 for women, increasing to 1 in 1290 for men and 1 in 677 for women with morbid obesity (body mass index = 40.0–44.9 kg/m2 ).
There are some caveats that should be considered when thinking about these figures.