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Benefits of weight loss1-5

The value of 10–15% weight loss1-5

When it comes to managing your patients with obesity, it's important to communicate that weight loss can significantly reduce the risk of developing obesity-related complications.6

Some complications are more sensitive to weight loss than others and a weight loss of as little as 5% has been shown to have significant and long-standing health benefits. However, with increasing weight loss, the benefits in improving complications increase, and additional improvements are seen with a weight loss of 5–15%, or more.1-5,7-14

Weight maintenance and its impact on health

Below is an overview showing how much weight loss and maintenance of weight loss is needed to improve some of the most prevalent weight-related complications.11,15

Note that weight loss will depend upon the nature of complication. FEV1, forced expiratory volume at 1s; GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease; HbA1c, haemoglobin A1c; HDL, high density lipoprotein; LDL, low density lipoprotein; NAFLD, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; PCOS, polycystic ovary syndrome.

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  8. Wing RR, Lang W, Wadden TA, et al. Benefits of modest weight loss in improving cardiovascular risk factors in overweight and obese individuals with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2011;34:1481–1486.
  9. Dattilo AM and Kris-Etherton PM. Effects of weight reduction on blood lipids and lipoproteins: a meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 1992;56:320–328.
  10. Coggon D, Reading I, Croft P, et al. Knee osteoarthritis and obesity. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2001;25:622–627.
  11. Christensen R, Bartels EM, Astrup A, et al. Effect of weight reduction in obese patients diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2007;66:433–439.
  12. Zelber-Sagi S, Godos J and Salomone F. Lifestyle changes for the treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a review of observational studies and intervention trials. Therap Adv Gastroenterol. 2016;9:392–407.
  13. Glass LM, Dickson RC, Anderson JC, et al. Total body weight loss of >/= 10 % is associated with improved hepatic fibrosis in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Dig Dis Sci. 2015;60:1024–1030.
  14. Ryan D and Yockey S. Weight loss and improvement in comorbidity: Differences at 5%, 10%, 15%, and over. Curr Obes Rep. 2017; 6:187–194.
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