Modest Weight Loss Brings Prolonged Health Benefits

When losing weight seems like more than you can handle… think about this. You don’t need to lose all the weight all at once. Even losing a modest amount (10% of your total) of weight is enough to give overweight and obese patients ten years worth of important health benefits – so says a new study. The intriguing research was presented at the American Psychological Association 2012 annual meeting and addresses the idea that psychology may have a role in fighting obesity.

No one needs to remind you that obesity is the number one health challenge facing people the world over. While medications and surgery are options for some, the vast majority of those battling to lose weight aren’t candidates for these options. Knowing that “diets” don’t work, we need to find other methods for helping people drop those dangerous, debilitating pounds.

Doctors know that carrying too much weight can increase your risk of many serious health problems. Not just type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke, but dangerous metabolic syndrome, disruptive sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, gallbladder disease, fatty liver disease, complications in pregnancy as well as some forms of cancer. But it doesn’t have to be this way… you have the power to stop these diseases in their tracks… just by losing a bit of weight.

The current bit of research involved 3,000 overweight subjects who had impaired glucose tolerance, a condition recognized as part of a pre diabetic state, who were shown how to change their unhealthy behaviors instead of being given medications to lose weight. Some of the things the study subjects did to help them drop the weight…

· Keeping track of what they ate

· Reducing the amount of unhealthy food/drinks they kept at home

· Meeting regularly with coaches/support people

· Increasing the amount of exercise they got on a regular basis

Even the modest weight loss the subjects achieved, 14 pounds on average, cut their risk of developing diabetes by 58%. And the benefits of the weight loss lasted an astonishing ten years, even if the subjects regained the lost weight.

Continues below…

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Modest Weight Loss Brings Prolonged Health Benefits Continued…

Study author Rena Wing, PhD, is a Brown University professor of psychiatry and human behavior and director of the Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center in Providence RI, believes that helping people find ways to change eating and activity that don’t involve side effect laden medications can make a big difference in keeping major health problems at bay. Weight loss has been found to have a profound impact on sleep apnea, high blood pressure and the quality of life by slowing the decline in mobility that is a natural part of the aging process.

Wing is also leading a study set to last 13 years and involving 5,000 subjects who have diabetes to see if intense behavioral intervention can bring down the risk of heart disease and heart attacks for this population. There is lots of research on short-term effects of weight loss, but this work is intended to be longer term. The team is intent n showing that behavior change can make you healthier and help you live longer.

To your good health,