Manage Weight to Improve Quality of Life

Health Benefits from Even a Few Pounds Can Show Lasting Benefit
Manage Weight to Improve Quality of Life

Aug. 31, 2012, in Weight and Obesity Lifestyle

Overweight and obese individuals can achieve a decade’s worth of important health benefits by losing just 20 pounds, even if they regain the weight later that decade, reports Rena Wing, from Brown University (Rhode Island, USA). Referring to her work from the Diabetes Prevention Program, a national study of 3,000 overweight people with impaired glucose tolerance who engaged in behavioral changes, modest weight loss (of an average of 14 pounds) reduced people’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 58%, with the health benefits of this weight loss lasting up to 10 years, even if people gained the weight back over this time.

Participants in the program practiced basic behavioral strategies to help them lose weight, including tracking everything they ate and reducing the amount of unhealthy foods they kept in their home, she said. They also met with coaches frequently and increased their physical activity over the course of the study. The study author comments that: “Weight losses of just 10% of a person’s body weight have also been shown to have a long-term impact on sleep apnea, hypertension and quality of life, and to slow the decline in mobility that occurs as people age.”

Brownell K, Opening Session, Session 1342, American Psychological Association’s 120th Annual Convention, Aug. 2, 2012.

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