Weight loss is often associated with improved body image. However, losing weight can also have major health benefits for those who are overweight or obese.
Specifically, 36% of the older population is overweight and 17% is obese. In addition to affecting body image, both disorders have negative health consequences, as they increase the risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases, metabolic disorders, locomotor system problems and some types of cancer. The good news is that losing as little as 5% of body weight can significantly improve the health of people who are overweight or obese. Here are some of the health benefits of weight loss:
– Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Losing weight can lower blood pressure, lower blood triglyceride levels, and increase HDL (commonly known as “good”) cholesterol levels. All of these effects help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, such as a heart attack or stroke.
– It prevents or improves type 2 diabetes mellitus. Weight loss has been shown to help prevent and delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. In addition, it improves the blood glucose levels of diabetic patients, which may reduce the amount of medication needed to manage the disease.
– It reduces inflammation. Fat tissue cells can release inflammatory substances that contribute to health problems such as arthritis or certain heart diseases. By losing weight, the amount of these substances is reduced and therefore the risk of developing these diseases.
– It reduces pressure and pain in the joints. In people who are overweight or obese, reducing one kilogram of body weight means losing 4 kilos of pressure on the knees . Therefore, losing weight improves joint pain, as well as decreasing the levels of inflammatory substances that can lead to the development of arthritis.
– It reduces the risk of suffering from cancer. It is also important to combat excess weight because obesity is the second most preventable cause of cancer development after tobacco use. In this regard, one study showed that the loss of at least 5% of body weight in older women reduced the risk of developing breast cancer by 12%.
– It increases the duration and quality of sleep. It has been observed that obese people who have lost at least 5% of their body weight, after 6 months sleep better and longer.
– It improves mood. Similarly, it has been seen that 6 months after a 5% reduction in body weight, mood improves. This may be due to the change in body image along with the longer duration and quality of sleep.