In some good news for obese and overweight people, a new study has suggested that you can achieve long-term health benefits by shedding just 9 kgs, even if you regain it later.

In a research presented at the American Psychological Association’s 120th Annual Convention it was found that even modest weight loss, an average of 6 kgs, reduced people’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 58 per cent and the health benefits of this weight loss lasted up to 10 years, even if people gained the weight back in this period.

In her work from the Diabetes Prevention Programme Rena Wing, professor of psychiatry and human behaviour at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School studied 3,000 overweight people with impaired glucose tolerance that were shown how to change their behaviour rather than given drugs.

“It showed that even modest weight loss, an average of 14 pounds, reduced people’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 58 per cent,” she said in a statement.

“What’s more, the health benefits of this weight loss lasted up to 10 years, even if people gained the weight back over this time,” she said.

Participants in the program practised basic behavioural strategies to help them lose weight, including tracking everything they ate and reducing the amount of unhealthy foods they kept in their home.

“Weight losses of just 10 per cent of a person’s body weight have also been shown to have a long-term impact on sleep apnea, hypertension and quality of life, and to slow the decline in mobility that occurs as people age,” she added.

(This article was published on August 3, 2012)
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