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Medicine Science

Big Health Benefits To Small Weight Loss (nytimes.com) 99

schwit1 writes: Obese individuals who lose as little as 5 percent of their body weight can improve their metabolic function and reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, a new study has found. Many current treatment guidelines urge patients to lose between 5% and 10% of their body weight in order to experience health benefits, but the recommendations were based on earlier studies that didn't distinguish between participants who lost only 5 percent of their weight and those who lost more.
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Big Health Benefits To Small Weight Loss

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  • Anything is better than nothing. Or, in this case, a little too much is better than a lot too much.

    • Re:Of course (Score:5, Interesting)

      by snowgirl ( 978879 ) on Saturday February 27, 2016 @01:38AM (#51597115) Journal

      As I noted on the FB page, Type 2 Diabetes tends to be caused by a feedback loop of insulin insensitivity increasing insulin secretion causing increased insensitivity.

      Just a little nudge out of that feedback loop can do incredible amounts of good. All you have to do is just break that cycle, and you can potentially walk away from having to constantly worry about your blood sugar. (But of course, much like weight loss, T2D requires a lifestyle change to keep away. It's not a 'take this pill, you're cured!' it's more of a 'pay more attention to your diet regardless, and eat better for the rest of your life.' ... which as the argument I've seen goes, it's a question of which is better or worse.

      This reminds me that a T1D can get a pancreas implant, and then no/reduced need of insulin for years... but then you have to take antirejection drugs and all the wonderful side effects of transplants... so which is worse, the cure or the chronic pedantic busy work being your own pancreas...

      • Re: Of course (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It is interesting how it all plays out in a vicious cycle. There are so many moving parts, from the stomach biome being tuned to high carbs to the interplay of dopamine, insulin and other lesser known feedback loops.

        The good thing is, at least one of these can be significantly modified in only 2-3 days. That is, the biome. Eat zero carbs for 3 days and you select a whole new generation of biome. This is what probably contributes to diets like paleo and keto bring effective.

        Throw one system out of its cycle

        • Well, really anything that breaks the cycle works great. But yeah, keto is a good choice because it specifically reduces carb intake, which leaves the liver as the only source of glucose in the body.

          This definitely can rest the insulin response and help reset it.

      • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

        This reminds me that a T1D can get a pancreas implant, and then no/reduced need of insulin for years... but then you have to take antirejection drugs and all the wonderful side effects of transplants... so which is worse, the cure or the chronic pedantic busy work being your own pancreas...

        Just a heads up, there a couple of new transplants out there that use different methods, and no longer implant them into the pancreas either. The upside with these transplants is they require no anti-rejection drugs, and after 5 years more around 60% of the transplanted tissue is still functioning properly. The real problem with islet transplants right now is that even with anti-rejection drugs, after about 10 years around 50% of people have to start to start taking insulin again. And it just goes downhil

      • Why insulin resistance develops:

        http://faculty.bennington.edu/... [bennington.edu]

        • Some of this article is outright wrong. Specifically, that Type 1 Diabetics over-produce glucagon. http://www.diabetesselfmanagem... [diabetesse...gement.com] Also, a common factor in T2D individuals is that their muscles are starting to store fat. Your link fails to account for any of that. Now, as for how it's wrong about T1D (I should know, I am one):

          Glucagon is prescribed as an emergency injection for hypoglycemia. If the body of a T1D would be consistently putting out glucagon, then glucagon would be worthless as an emergency i

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's less clear cut than that.

      Most of the morbidity/mortality stats don't differentiate between morbidly obese and being overweight. Turns out carrying a few extra pounds doesn't substantially alter life expectancy.

      Same with exercise. Newer research suggests as little as 20 minutes of moderate exercise gets most of the same benefits as gym rats.

      Bottom line is the margins of what constitutes good health is fuzzier than expected.

  • Lay off the Mt. Dew and Hot Pockets

    Rub a nut, burn 5 calories.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The participants lost 5% of their body weight but what type of weight that they lost was not specified. Right at the start I am dubious here..

    So you are telling me that if I lost 5% of my body weight from a gangrenous leg amputation, I am less likely to develop diabetes? See the problem?

    Capcha is "insular" is that some kind of joke?

    • >but what type of weight that they lost was not specified.

      It's a meta study. They don't know. This is bottom-of-the-barrel science.

      • It wasn't a meta analysis, it was a randomized controlled trial:

        http://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/fulltext/S1550-4131(16)30053-5/p

    • "The participants lost 5% of their body weight but what type of weight that they lost was not specified."

      You're right, amputating a leg won't work.

    • So you think amputations are a confounder in randomized controlled trials? Yes, the type of weight lost was specified:

      http://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/fulltext/S1550-4131(16)30053-5

      5% weight loss resulted in a 2% ± 2% decrease in fat-free mass (FFM), an 8% ± 3% decrease in body fat mass, a 7% ± 12% decrease in intra-abdominal adipose tissue (IAAT) volume, and a 40% ± 21% decrease in intrahepatic triglyceride (IHTG) content (Table 1). 5% weight loss significantly decreased the plasma

  • by jmd ( 14060 ) on Saturday February 27, 2016 @01:53AM (#51597143)

    In 1999 I had a minor heart attack. Docs put me on cholesterol meds and beta blockers. This was the beginning of the end. Statins caused a lot of problems, cramps, constipation and likely memory loss to name a few. The beta blockers assured me I would stay in good shape through exercise because I could not get my heart rate up to aerobic levels. I worked in construction and this would cost me a couple of jobs over time as I could not do the work. I quit both statins and beta-blockers in 2008-9. But by this time I was up 30lbs and taking high blood pressure meds.

    Fast forward. I retired and moved to Thailand. At age 60 I lost the 30 lbs, stopped taking high blood pressure meds and now I'm pretty damn happy living a relatively stress free life and walk most everywhere I go. 5 miles or so a day. Fresh food. The chicken I'm are eating was killed yesterday not 2 weeks ago. The mango was picked yesterday, not 1 week ago.

    Best of all.... I have morning erections again.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Based on your anecdote it's hard to see how the main factor in your improved health wasn't the removal of the stressors in your life.

    • Best of all.... I have morning erections again.

      This being the Internet, we demand proof.

    • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Saturday February 27, 2016 @04:40AM (#51597457) Homepage
      You could have tried walking 5 miles a day in the West. Fresh food is available as well. Nobody is putting a gun to your head and making you eat that Big Mac. You can say no.
      • If your brain doesn't ask questions, you can't say no. Many of our actions, such as looking for something to eat, are initiated unconsciously. Higher cognitive justification is added after the fact, but then it's often already too late.
        • Many of our actions, such as looking for something to eat, are initiated unconsciously.

          The question is initiated unconsciously. But it doesn't make you zombie walk to that feral shit many Americans consider "food". If you're unable to say no to your unconscious then simply outsmart it. I now carry an apple everywhere I go. If I get massive cravings for food eat the apple. Done. 2-3 hours no more stupid cravings and I got away without consuming 1/3 of the daily recommended intake of sodium, saturated fat and sugar in one snack.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        The point is that in some countries you don't have to go out of your way to get that exercise.

        As for chicken, it's probably more to do with the stuff they feed them and the antibiotics they use.

        • The point is that in some countries you don't have to go out of your way to get that exercise.

          Wow the excuses are out in force today. I can't walk because I'm in a country where I would need to go out of my way to do it? You have an incredibly weak will power.

          • Sometimes I've been in a position where walking around the neighborhood would be more of a risk than I want to take. Sometimes, in recent years, it would be seriously painful. Sometimes I'd likely pass out. If you're where you usually have to walk some in daily life, and it's usually possible, you're going to have a lot less difficulty getting that walking in.

      • by hey! ( 33014 )

        You can make the Big Mac the poster boy for bad food, but it's just a drop in an ocean of food that's bad -- at least bad to eat on a consistent basis.

        The choice isn't Big Mac or not Big Mac; it's whether you prepare your own food or eat convenience food. The one thing that most clearly correlates with the rise of obesity in the west is the drop in the time people spend preparing their own food. It's not just that you get control over what goes into your food, people tend to make different choices when th

      • Wanting that Big Mac, being determined not to eat it, and being a couple blocks from a McDonald's is stressful. Wanting a Big Mac and never being close to a McDonald's is much less stressful. Right now, I've got enough stress in my life, so I'm better off not going near a Wendy's.

        Different people have different levels of temptation, availability of things they shouldn't do, ability to cope with stress, etc. What works for you may not work for another person, and pretending it will is a path to arrogant

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I retired and moved to Thailand. [...] Best of all.... I have morning erections again.

      That might be related to living in Thailand, of course.

  • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Saturday February 27, 2016 @01:53AM (#51597145) Homepage Journal

    Any type of exercise which adds to your list of things to do during the day will eventually get dropped as a low priority. By removing a drive or public transport from your routine you make room for something which can make you healthier.

    • I'd like to see the numbers run for commuting by bicycle with injury morbidity included.
    • Something to make me healthier, like unemployment? My workplace is much too far from my house to walk or bike.

  • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Saturday February 27, 2016 @02:02AM (#51597169) Homepage Journal

    *PUKE*
    Okay! I'm down to 100 lbs!
    Need to lose 5%! I'll get healthier!
    *PUKE*
    Okay! I'm down to 95 lbs!
    Need to lose 5%! I'll get even healthier!
    *PUKE!*
    Hey! Is that my spleen?

  • You would think that insurance companies would be begging if not bribing people to loose weight. I have several friends who have tried to get insurance to help pay for their weight loss surgery to no avail. One is over 200# above his healthy BMI. The cost savings of that surgery should be obvious. Can anyone explain why they won't help out?
    • they don't owe anything - that's a different insurance...

  • >Obese individuals who lose as little as 5 percent of their body weight can improve their metabolic function
    Obese individuals who improve their metabolic function lose as little as 5 percent of their body weight.

    There, fixed that for you, maybe.
    The world of nutrition research is full of the elementary school statistical error of assuming the arrow of causality to be one way when it's actually the other.

    • by Lorens ( 597774 )

      Came here to say this. I like the FMD diet, it's all about reestablishing correct metabolical function in order to lose weight. I can only like a "diet" that tells you to eat five times a day or more, and that to lose more weight, you need to increase portion size.

      • Seems that the FMD diet is more about cutting out tasty refined foods, and starting an exercise routine. They tell you that you can eat what you want, but by restricting the choice of foods, there's not much left that you'd actually want to eat in large quantities.
      • it's all about reestablishing correct metabolical function in order to lose weight.

        Chicken or the egg. The extra fat mass changes the levels of chemical messengers (adiposity signals) that help determine appetite and lots of aspects of metabolism. Losing that weight also changes those levels: they now mimic those in a starving person, so basal metabolism drops, so does sensitivity to satiety signals. In that sense, Reestablishing "correct" metabolical function might take a year or more of keeping the weight off - that's how much time it takes to recover normal (er, "thin person") operatio

  • When I get out of shape and start exercising again, my weight balance shifts between fat and muscle first, by more than 5%, before I start to actually lose weight.

    Just like BMI, I think studies that focus on weight alone leave out too much information on what's happening internally.

    That is, I'd wager losing 5% of your weight from a week of stomach flu is not the same as 'earning' it.

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