Have there been any recent prospective randomized medical trials looking at efficacy of lifestyle intervention or pharmacotherapy?
Yes. The Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) trial had an intensive lifestyle intervention arm with a significantly higher weight loss than the control group (6% vs. 3.5%). The trial was stopped early because the primary outcome of cardiovascular events was no different between groups.
Two pharmacotherapies have recently been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA): phentermine plus topiramate (Qsymia) and Lorcaserin (Belviq). The CONQUER trial showed that Qsymia could lead to nearly 9% weight loss, which makes it currently the most effective nonsurgical therapy.