A little weight loss shown to have huge health benefits

Written by By Barry Eitel & Corey Blackman on . Posted in Health

Research finds 5 percent weight loss leads to marked decrease in diabetes, heart disease risk.

SAN FRANCISCO (AA) – A new study released Monday finds that obese patients who has a 5 percent weight loss saw a significant decrease in the risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

In fact, the researchers believe the greatest overall health benefits come from this notably small amount of weight loss.

By dropping 5 percent body weight, obese patients saw a profound drop-off in the risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart issues as well as enhanced metabolic function in liver, fat and muscle tissue. The report was published Monday in the journal Cell Metabolism by scientists at Washington University in St. Louis. “Our findings demonstrate that you get the biggest bang for your buck with 5 percent weight loss,” principal investigator Samuel Klein, MD, said in a statement.

“The current guidelines for treating obesity recommend a 5 to 10 percent weight loss, but losing 5 percent of your body weight is much easier than losing 10 percent. So it may make sense for patients to aim at the easier target.”

Researchers observed 40 men and women aged 32 to 56 that were considered obese. Each patient either maintained his or her body weight or lost between five and 15 percent of body weight through dieting. Surprisingly, the biggest health boost for the patients’ entire bodies and individual organs occurred with the 5 percent decrease. For a person weighting 90 kilograms (200 pounds), this amounts to a 4.5 kilogram (10 pound) weight loss.

“Continued weight loss is good, but not all organ systems respond the same way,” Klein continued. “Muscle tissue responds much more to continued weight loss, but liver and adipose tissue have pretty much achieved their maximum benefit at 5 percent weight loss.”

Global obesity rates have doubled since 1980 with 1.9 billion people considered overweight in 2014, according to the World Health Organization.

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