Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Modest Weight Loss Can Have Lasting Health Benefits, Research Shows


People who lose just a modest amount of weight can achieve health benefits that last a decade, even if they regain the weight during that time, according to research presented at the American Psychological Association’s 120th Annual Convention.

With a focus on psychology’s role in overcoming the national obesity epidemic, the session also examined research that indicates foods high in sugar and fat could have addictive properties.

Scientists at Brown University in the US studied 3,000 overweight people, all of whom had impaired glucose tolerance and were advised to make lifestyle changes.

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 researchers found that losing an average of 14 pounds (6.35kg) reduced people's changes of developing type-2 diabetes by 58 per cent.

Importantly, the benefits of this level of weight loss for participants' health lasted for up to ten years, even if they put the weight back on again during that time.

'Weight losses of just ten per cent of a person's body weight, or about 20 pounds (9kg)  in those who weigh 200 pounds (90kg), have also been shown to have a long-term impact on sleep apnoea, hypertension and quality of life, and to slow the decline in mobility that occurs as people age,' said Dr Rena Wing, professor of psychiatry and human behaviour at Brown University's Alpert Medical School.




The above story is based on the August 2, 2012 newsrelease by the American Psychological Association.

Research presented at scientific meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

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