Little Goes A Long Way
Obesity increases the likelihood of various diseases, particularly heart disease, type 2 diabetes, breathing difficulties during sleep, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. Obesity is most commonly caused by a combination of excessive dietary calories, lack of physical activity, and genetic susceptibility, although a few cases are caused solely by genes, endocrine disorders, medications or psychiatric illness. Evidence to support the view that some obese people eat little yet gain weight due to a slow metabolism is limited; on average obese people have a greater energy expenditure than their thin counterparts due to the energy required to maintain an increased body mass.
It’s is not easy for anyperson to lose weight quickly let alone an obese person, but a recent study proves that even those who lose little weight by portion control (essentially eat less) and exercising regularly better their cardiovascular health.
“Losing 20 or so pounds might seem daunting to some people, but we showed that even a more modest weight loss can yield heart and vascular benefits,” says study co-author Lisa de las Fuentes. “You don’t necessarily need to lose 50 pounds to improve your heart function,” added Fuentes, cardiologist at Washington University School of Medicine-St. Louis.
The researchers studied 60 moderately obese people, aged between 22 and 64 years. The subjects were instructed to eat low-calorie diets and to exercise for about three and a half hours per week, principally walking. On an average, they lost weight for about six months, reaching a maximum loss of nine percent body weight or 22 pounds.
Maximum cardiovascular benefit lagged behind weight loss, with the greatest improvement coming six to 12 months after the study began.
Here are some facts about Obesity and how it affects our life:
- Nearly two-thirds of men and one half of women are obese or overweight
- Obesity is 2nd largest cause of cancer after smoking
- Obese people on average live 9 years less
Additional Reading: F as in Fat 2009 – Trust for America’s Health