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Any Weight Loss Can Be Healthful, but More Can Be Much Better

Updated: Sep 16, 2020

A new study has found that the more weight lost, the more beneficial.

The study involved 7,670 overweight or obese people who intended to lose weight. Using data on current weight, weight taken one year ago, and maximum lifetime weight, researchers analyzed if long-term weight loss could lower the risk for metabolic syndrome — defined as an array of harmful conditions including high blood pressure, insulin resistance, excess fat around the waist, high triglycerides and low HDL (also known as “good”) cholesterol.

Compared to people who experienced less than a 5 percent weight loss in one year, those who lost 5 to 10 percent of their weight lowered their risk for metabolic syndrome by 22 percent. A 15 to 19 percent weight loss was associated with a 37 percent lower risk, and a 20 percent or more weight loss was associated with a whopping 53 percent lower risk. These findings were published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

“Any weight loss is beneficial,” said the lead author, Gregory Knell of the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston. “You don’t have to reach 20 percent to have a benefit. But if you are able to lose more weight, you get some really significant numbers related to metabolic health.”

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