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Overweight? Just Lose a Little

Overweight? Just Lose a Little

If you’ve found the number on the scale creeping upward, it may feel daunting to tackle. However, research shows that even a modest weight loss can be helpful to your health if you’re in the overweight or obese category.

A team of researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that obese participants who lost 5 percent of their body weight received the “biggest bang for your buck” in health benefits, including:1

  • Significantly decreased body fat, including abdominal fat and fat in the liver
  • Lower plasma levels of glucose, insulin, triglycerides and leptin (risk factors for heart disease and diabetes)
  • Improved function of insulin-secreting cells
  • Improved ability of fat, liver and muscle tissue to respond to insulin

The study didn’t look at whether these effects are sustained over the long term, but team leader Dr. Samuel Klein noted: “If you weigh 200 pounds, you will be doing yourself a favor if you can lose 10 pounds and keep it off. You don’t have to lose 50 pounds to get important health benefits.”2

Talk to your doctor before beginning any weight loss plan or if you have any concerns about your health or weight.

1 Carol Torgan. National Institutes of Health. March 6, 2016. “Benefits of moderate weight loss in people with obesity.” https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/benefits-moderate-weight-loss-people-obesity. Accessed Oct. 26, 2018.

2 Ibid.