Weight loss benefits begin sooner than expected, study finds

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 3 months ago

In a recent study, researchers have found that even a small amount of weight loss can have significant health benefits for individuals who are overweight or obese. Losing less than 10% of total body weight can lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, ease joint pain, and enhance cardiovascular health.

According to Melanie Jay, MD, losing 5% to 10% of body weight is considered "modest but clinically significant." In fact, some individuals may experience positive changes in their health by losing as little as 2% of their weight. Triglyceride levels, which are a type of fat in the blood, can improve by losing just 2% to 5% of body weight for people with type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Modest weight loss can also lead to improvements in daily life. For example, individuals with knee osteoarthritis reported less knee pain when they lost an average of about 6% of their total body weight. Each pound of weight loss resulted in a four-fold reduction in the load exerted on the knee during daily activities.

While a 5% weight loss may not be noticeable to others, it can have a significant impact on overall health. It can lead to improvements in HDL cholesterol and diastolic blood pressure for individuals with type 2 diabetes and obesity. The National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) also highlights the benefits of modest weight loss. In a study of over 3,200 people who were overweight or had obesity, those in the lifestyle group (following the DPP plan) were 58% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to those in the placebo group.

However, maintaining weight loss can be challenging for many individuals. The National Weight Control Registry suggests weighing oneself regularly, eating breakfast daily, and engaging in an hour of exercise per day as strategies for long-term weight maintenance. Consistent and sustained behavioral change is necessary for maintaining weight loss.

In conclusion, even a small amount of weight loss can bring about significant health benefits. While the journey to weight loss and maintenance may be challenging, the positive impact on overall health makes it worthwhile.


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