Obesity: Even minimal weight loss shows clear positive effects

Obesity: Even minimal weight loss shows clear positive effects

Obesity: Even slight weight loss brings a lot to health
People who are extremely overweight (obesity) often find it difficult to reduce their weight. Many do not manage to eat healthier or exercise regularly. Sometimes for fear of failure. But it would be worth it: According to the latest scientific findings, five percent less weight can have a positive impact on health.

Being overweight makes you sick
Health experts agree that being overweight (obesity) makes you sick. Obesity is a risk factor for numerous lifestyle diseases. Diseases of the vessels and the cardiovascular system such as high blood pressure, coronary artery disease or arteriosclerosis are particularly worth mentioning here. In addition, obesity increases the risk of joint wear (arthrosis), diabetes, cancer and psychosocial suffering. A recent study showed that obesity in women increases the risk of postnatal depression. But although most of those affected are aware that their body weight has a negative impact on health, many find it difficult to lose weight. But they would do something very good for them: According to new scientific findings, even a small weight loss is good for your health.

"Big yield for a small assignment"
Very overweight people who manage to slim down five percent do a great service to their health, researchers reported in the journal "Cell Metabolism". This significantly reduces the risk of many weight-related illnesses. The percentage of body fat therefore shrinks by eight percent, even with particularly unhealthy belly fat (seven percent). Senior author Samuel Klein from Washington University in St. Louis said, according to a news agency dpa: "This is a big return for a small assignment."

Previous knowledge confirmed
According to German experts, this would confirm previous findings. According to Christina Holzapfel of the Competence Network Obesity (TU Munich), crash diets are not recommended. "A healthy body weight is a life's work," the expert told dpa. As the study states, the current recommendation for overweight people in the United States is to reduce their weight by five to ten percent. However, even with a comparatively small weight loss, various risk factors for type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease would be significantly reduced, the team of scientists led by Faidon Magkos from Washington University in St. Louis reported. This improves the metabolism, the insulin sensitivity of the organs and the blood sugar value decrease.

Positive health effects increase
If you manage to lose more than ten percent of your weight, the muscles benefit more. According to the authors, the positive health effects generally increase with fat metabolism and inflammation. "We hope that these results encourage people who are very overweight to take manageable steps," said Klein. According to the information, 40 adults without further illnesses participated in the study, whose body mass index (BMI) averaged almost 38 - from 30 one speaks of obesity. Part of the test group maintained their weight, while the remaining men and women lost around five, ten or 15 percent on a six-month diet. Your blood values ​​and other health-related data such as blood pressure and heart rate were monitored during this time. Almost half of the subjects (19) achieved a five percent weight reduction.

Better explanation of the relationships for patients
According to dpa, Christina Holzapfel said the results of the study were encouraging. Earlier analyzes had shown that a moderate weight loss of five to ten percent improves the metabolism. "It always affects the quality of life, including the joints." It is important to reduce his body weight permanently. Exercise, nutrition, behavior: the entire lifestyle has to change. Dirk Müller-Wieland of the German Diabetes Society (DDG) explained that the more detailed reasons the study provides for the metabolism to be positively influenced even with low weight loss could help to explain the relationships better to patients in the future. "The goal of losing five percent of weight is extremely motivating."

Small steps for health
It is far more difficult for obese people to lose pounds than is often assumed. This applies to adults as well as to children and adolescents. It is not uncommon for the probability of becoming fat to be found in the genome. An international team of researchers found a gene responsible for obesity a few years ago. And Scottish researchers recently reported that a hormone that regulates appetite could be responsible for making losing weight much more difficult for women. According to experts, it can be all the more important as a motivating factor that even small steps in weight loss are very good for your health. The authors of the current study also emphasized that if they set small goals, it can save many of those affected from the feeling of failure. Five percent less weight is much easier to achieve than a minus of ten percent. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Reversing Type 2 diabetes starts with ignoring the guidelines. Sarah Hallberg. TEDxPurdueU