Losing weight, even temporarily, benefits the heart in the long run

Losing weight at any point in adulthood improves long-term cardiovascular health, even if you have to gain it back later.

We know that overweight and especially obesity are associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and hypertension, which can lead to cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction or stroke.

In order to better understand the consequences of weight on the cardiovascular system, researchers examined a large British medical database called UK Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD), covering 5,362 men and women born in 1946 In compiling this database, the participants were asked to provide information on their lifestyle and their weight at different periods of their lives.

For this study, British scientists analyzed data from 1,273 men and women from the NSHD. Participants were categorized as normal weight, overweight, or obese during childhood and at ages 36, 43, 53, and 60-64. The participants were assessed in particular their cardiovascular risk with the realization of various examinations between 60 and 64 years. Unsurprisingly, scientists were able to confirm what we already knew, excess body fat increases the risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease, according to cardiovascular risk markers.

Weight loss: A bonus for long-term cardiovascular health

Above all, this study showed new information, if a person loses weight, in particular going from obesity to overweight or from overweight to normal weight during a period of his life, then respectively becomes obese or overweight again later, it is always beneficial in the long term for the cardiovascular system. For example, if a person is obese (BMI greater than 30) at age 50 and is overweight (BMI between 25 and 30) for 10 years and then becomes obese again at age 60, it is more beneficial for the cardiovascular system than if had been obese all her life.

Even temporary weight loss is always beneficial

The scientists observed by analyzing the data of these 1,273 participants that only 2% succeeded in losing weight in a sustainable way by going from obesity to overweight or from overweight to normal weight. The vast majority of participants experienced the yoyo effect, that is to say lost weight and regained (sometimes more) a little later or simply failed to lose weight.

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This work is important and should encourage all people trying to lose weight to always have hope, in other words, any significant weight loss during one’s life is good for the long term.


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