Losing 5 Percent of Your Body Weight is Enough to Improve Health

Shedding just 5 percent of your body weight can bring about significant health improvements, according to a new study published in Cell Press.

While the trial found that weight loss of 10 or 15 percent was linked to even better outcomes, individuals struggling to shed pounds for health reasons may be able to start with smaller steps, the research revealed.

"These results demonstrate you get a large bang for your buck with a 5% weight loss," said senior study author Samuel Klein, from Washington University School of Medicine.

This is the first study to demonstrate differences in health outcomes between people who lose 5 percent of their body weight and people who lose 10 percent.

Insulin sensitivity and weight loss

The study included 40 obese men and women who showed signs of insulin-resistant glucose metabolism. In the 19 individuals who lost 5 percent of their body weight, researchers observed improved beta cell function and insulin sensitivity. Individuals who lost even more weight showed further improvements in these areas, too.

"Our findings show that even a small amount of weight loss has important health benefits for multiple organ systems," Klein said. "We hope that these findings will encourage obese people to take reasonable steps to watch what they eat and increase their physical activity, because this will translate into a lower risk for diabetes and heart disease."

Source: Cell Press

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