ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KFSN) --If you are overweight and want to decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, the number one thing you can do to improve your health is lose weight. Common sense advice that so many of us have a tough time following. Now new research shows you don't have to drop major pounds for your body to see big benefits.
Fifty-one year old Kelly Latreille feels stronger than ever.
"I'm a big yoga fan, and I have found I can do poses I never thought I could," Kelly told Ivanhoe.
But three years ago, Kelly was at her heaviest weight, 152 pounds. While it might not sound too high, it was too much for her five foot one inch frame.
Kelly changed her diet by adding more fruit and vegetables and dropped twenty pounds over eight months, with the help of weight watchers. Then she got another pleasant surprise.
"My blood pressure got a little better. It wasn't out of control, but my doctor notice a drop in that," Kelly said.
No surprise at all to Samuel Klein, MD, director at the Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and his colleagues at the center for human nutrition.
Doctor Klein randomly assigned forty volunteers without diabetes to maintain weight or lose five, 10 or 15 percent.
He said "Liver and adipose tissue, or fat tissue, get their best effects within five percent weight loss."
Among the volunteers who lost just five percent, the function of cells that produce insulin improved, blood pressure improved and trigylcerides were lower.
"If people understand losing a little bit of weight goes a long way to improving their health, then perhaps they'll really try to lose that little bit of weight," Klein told Ivanhoe.
Kelly said, "I want to stay this size and this weight for the rest of my life."
Doctor Klein and his colleagues say they would like to expand the study to include people who already have diabetes to see if their bodies have the same response to a five percent weight loss.
For more information, contact:
Judy Martin Finch