Weight loss at any age has health benefits

Weight loss at any age has health benefits

Weight loss at any stage of your adult life is usually worthwhile because it can provide you with long-term protection against heart disease, new research shows.

This benefit is gained even if you subsequently regain any weight you might have lost.

The research used data from 1,273 men and women born in 1946.

It showed that the longer you have excess body fat in adulthood, the greater your risk of heart problems later in life, including high blood pressure, and increased risk of diabetes.

Importantly, the findings also indicate that adults who drop a BMI (body mass index) category - from obese to overweight, or from overweight to normal - at any time during their adult life are less likely to have cardiovascular problems, even if they regain weight.

According to lead study author Professor John Deanfield from University College London: "Our study is unique because it followed individuals for such a long time, more than 60 years, and allowed us to assess the effect of modest, real-life changes in adiposity (excess body fat)."

"Our findings suggest that losing weight at any age can result in long-term cardiovascular health benefits, and support public health strategies and lifestyle modifications that help individuals who are overweight or obese to lose weight at all ages."

The study is published in the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.