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Moderate Weight Loss in Middle Aged Women Has Benefits

Maintaining a weight loss of 10% of body weight could aid in avoiding heart disease and diabetes….

A recent study involving 417 middle-aged women may show just how much of a benefit moderate sustained weight loss can have on an individual. The participants were included for the analysis if they had been able to maintain a weight loss of 10% or more of their body weight for a two year period. At the end of the study, the women who were able to maintain this weight loss were found to have lower LDL levels, higher HDL levels, lower triglycerides, lower blood glucose, and lower inflammation markers.

This study also showed that the women who had the greatest risk factors at the beginning of the study benefitted the most from the modest weight loss. The average age of the women in the study was 44 and the average weight was around 200 pounds. The study noted that for women of this age range, it is common to gain weight, potentially due to working a sedentary job, having multiple pregnancies previously, and the transition to menopause.

Practice Pearls:

  • Middle aged women who maintained just a 10% weight reduction were found to have healthier cholesterol levels, lower blood glucose levels, and lower levels of inflammation markers.
  • The women who benefitted the most from moderate weight loss were the women who had the greatest risk factors for heart disease and diabetes at the beginning of the study.
  • Middle aged women are prone to putting on weight for many reasons such as working a sedentary job, having had multiple pregnancies, as well as the transition through menopause.

The Journal of the American Heart Association, December 2013