Study: even a small weight loss is good for your health

And it lowers the risk of secondary diseases.

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iStock.com/Igor Alecsander

Advertising for weight-loss products often promises large reductions in weight within a short period of time. This sometimes leads to overoptimistic expectations and all too quickly to disappointment when they are not fulfilled. Particularly in the case of people who are markedly overweight, this then easily leads to them losing their motivation to persevere with a diet. Losing weight more slowly but continuously is in any case healthier and generally more sustainable than using so-called crash diets. That is why the well thought-out and coherent Almased concept also focuses on an optimised, healthy diet in order to reduce weight and control it lastingly in the best possible way. Such an approach is usually more successful than lifelong dieting with a frustrating yo-yo effect. In addition, studies show that even a small loss in weight can result in significant health benefits. They also show that losing weight by an amount in the single-digit percentage range can already reduce the risk of illnesses associated with overweight.

According to an investigation by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, people who are considerably overweight benefit markedly from a small weight loss. Writing in the medical journal Cell Metabolism, the scientists involved in the study said that in the case of obese people, a weight loss of merely five per cent significantly improves the responsiveness of their organs to insulin and the function of the so-called beta cells. Beta cells are the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. If there is a decrease in the performance of such cells or if they even cease to function completely, there will be insufficient insulin, and this is associated with the development of certain forms of diabetes.

Health risk significantly reduced

According to the scientists’ findings, a weight reduction of five per cent is already expected to lead to a noticeable reduction in the risk of developing coronary heart disease. In addition, there is about an eight per cent reduction in body fat as well as a seven per cent reduction in abdominal fat, which is regarded as being extremely unhealthy. The researchers emphasise that all things considered, overweight people who succeed in reducing their body weight by five per cent are doing their health a big favour.

They analysed the data of a group of 40 test persons, which is relatively small. Nevertheless, the scientists emphasised that the results of the study are meaningful and substantiated the positive effects of weight loss. According to the researchers, the participants in the study were healthy overall, but had an average body mass index of 38. This corresponds to second degree obesity, i.e. the second highest level, according to the definition of the Deutschen Adipositas Gesellschaft (German Obesity Society). While part of the test group maintained their weight, the remaining men and women lost five, ten or 15 per cent of their body weight as part of a six-month diet. During this period the test persons’ blood-test results, blood pressure, heart rate and other important health data were continually measured and recorded.

At the end of the test, the Washington University scientists pointed out that even a moderate reduction in body weight of five per cent clearly reduced the risks for type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. In addition, all in all they found an improvement in the respective test persons’ metabolism and the insulin sensitivity of their organs – not to mention the lower blood sugar level that resulted from loss in weight loss.

The bottom line was that the participants in the study were clearly able to achieve significant health benefits merely by losing a relatively small amount of weight. Considering what to do becomes a no-brainer when one realises one can easily achieve such improvements in well-being and quality of life simply by using Almased.

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