Weight loss interventions are more crucial than ever now that the US obesity epidemic continues to worsen. The Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC report that 42.4% of adults are currently obese in the US. Unfortunately, more than half of American adults are likely to gain at least 5% of their body weight within ten-year periods, which is why many health experts believe that the obesity epidemic won’t slow down anytime soon.
As such, it’s important to encourage people to lose weight—even if they’re just starting by shedding off the 5% that they gained within the decade. After all, multiple studies have shown that modest amounts of weight loss can still have profound effects on the health of people with obesity.
The Big Effects of Modest Weight Loss
Many people with obesity are usually pressured to lose all their excess weight immediately to lower their health risks for obesity-related conditions like diabetes and heart illnesses. However, research studies have shown that small and gradual weight changes can already make a profound difference in one’s health.
A study cited by the CDC points out that modest weight loss, such as five to ten percent of one’s body weight, is already likely to produce significant health benefits. A five percent weight loss for a person who weighs 200 pounds would bring their weight down to 190 pounds, which is already a significant difference. In fact, the study cited by the CDC shows that this small amount of weight loss can already help in improving one’s blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugars.
This modest amount of weight loss can also significantly change your health status. Five to ten percent of weight loss can make the difference between overweight vs. obesity and reduce one’s overall health risks from the latter condition. After all, there are over 200 disorders that are associated with obesity, which is why losing a bit of weight can reduce your chances of moving prediabetes and other obesity-related conditions into their full form. However, overweight individuals are still at risk for many conditions, which makes it important for people to continue their gradual and steady weight loss.
Being Overweight Still Comes With Health Risks
The shift from having obesity to becoming overweight may reduce one’s likelihood of having multiple conditions. However, there are still some significant health risks that are present.
To illustrate, a study showed that being overweight in your twenties and thirties could lead to faster mental decline in later life. The study revealed that having a high BMI, blood pressure, and glucose levels doubled the average cognitive decline rate, thus increasing the risk of experiencing memory and thinking problems in older age.
Aside from the risk of having cognitive declines, people with pre-obesity also have a higher likelihood of developing heart diseases as compared to people with healthier BMIs. On top of that, people with a BMI of 27 and above have a higher risk for mortality due to these cardiovascular risk factors.
To prevent these health risks, it’s crucial for people who are overweight or obese to consult doctors about weight loss interventions. These healthcare professionals can recommend anti-obesity medications or even dedicated fitness plans that can help people experience healthy and manageable weight loss. Most importantly, healthcare professionals can prescribe diet strategies that can help people with high BMIs manage their food consumption and experience healthy weight loss.
Small amounts of weight loss are worth acknowledging due to their significant health benefits. By acknowledging the benefits of modest amounts of weight loss, people will be more motivated to improve their health by continuing their weight loss journey.