Study: Faster weight loss no better than slow weight loss for health benefits

weight loss
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Losing weight slowly or quickly won't tip the scale in your favour when it comes to overall health, according to new research. Health researchers at York University found that people who lose weight quickly versus those who lose it slowly don't get any additional health benefits and it's the amount of weight lost overall that can have an impact.

In the study led by Jennifer Kuk, associate professor in York University's Faculty of Health, researchers looked at the data of over 11,000 patients at a publicly-funded clinical management program and found that those who lost weight quickly had similar improvements in metabolic health with those who lost weight slowly. Moreover, the rate of weight loss matters less for benefits than the amount of weight you lose.

Normally, individuals are recommended to lose weight at one to two pounds per week, as faster weight loss is related with a slightly for gallstones. However, there are reasons to believe that faster weight loss may have better effects for and diabetes risk factors.

The study is the first study of its kind to look specifically at risk factors for cardiovascular health and diabetes.

"With the same pound for pound weight loss, there is no difference in terms of health benefits if you lose weight fast or slow," says Kuk. "However, given the risk for gallstones with faster weight loss, trying to lose weight at the recommended one to two pounds per week is the safer option."

The study looked at 11,283 patients who attended the Wharton Medical Clinic Weight Management Program between July 2008 and July 2017. Researchers found that patients who lost weight more quickly tended to have a bigger reduction in obesity and better health improvements than patients who lost weight slowly. However, these improvements in associated with faster weight loss were abolished after adjusting for absolute weight loss.

"The results show that we really need to look at interventions that focus on long-term weight management that can achieve sustained at the recommended one to two pounds per week," says Kuk.

The study is published today in the Journal of Obesity.


Explore further

Alcohol intake may be key to long-term weight loss for people with diabetes

More information: Journal of Obesity (2019). DOI: 10.1155/2019/3609642 , https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jobe/2019/3609642/
Journal information: Journal of Obesity

Provided by York University
Citation: Study: Faster weight loss no better than slow weight loss for health benefits (2019, January 29) retrieved 23 May 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-01-faster-weight-loss-health-benefits.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
6 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more