Losing weight can lower your chances of heart attack and type 2 diabetes, even if you gain some weight.
And researchers at the University of Oxford found that those who lost the pounds were still enjoying the health benefits five years later, even if they regained a percentage of the weight.
Weight loss programs can help people lose weight and maintain a healthy weight by encouraging lifestyle changes. But regaining some weight when help and advice ceases is common.
The scientists wanted to test whether the subsequent health benefits of weight loss, such as lower blood pressure, persist after the interventions are discontinued.
They pooled the results of 124 studies involving more than 50,000 participants who either took part in diet or exercise, such as meal replacements or intermittent fasting, or were offered financial incentives to lose weight.
The average age of the participants was 51 years, and the body mass index was 33, which is considered obese.
On average, people lost 5 to 10 pounds (2-5 kg), and weight gain was typically 0.7 pounds per year (0.32 kg).
Compared to those who followed the lower intensity program and those who did not go through the weight loss program, participants who lost weight with the intensive weight loss program had fewer risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
And these lower risk factors persisted for at least five years after completing the weight loss program, according to findings published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Those who lost weight had lower systolic blood pressure—the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats—and lower levels of “bad” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
The researchers found that levels of HbA1c, a protein found in red blood cells used to test for diabetes, decreased by 0.26% both one and five years after participating in the intensive weight loss program.
According to them, this indicates a lower risk of cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes, as it remains low even after weight gain.
Professor Susan Gibb of the University of Oxford and co-author of the study said: “For people who are overweight or obese, weight loss is an effective way to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
She added: “Our results should be convincing that weight loss programs are effective in controlling cardiovascular risk factors and are more likely to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease.”
Source: Daily Mail
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