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Getting the Balance Right

By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD

A new piece of research in the International Journal of Obesity has shown that losing weight can actually help to reduce the risk of falling by improving balance in men who are obese.

The study included 14 obese men (with an average BMI of 33), who followed a low-calorie diet to help them lose weight, and 14 morbidly obese men (with an average BMI of 50.5) who underwent surgery. Various measures of balance were taken throughout the study.

The obese men lost an average of 12.3kg after dieting, while the morbidly obese men lost 71.3kg after surgery.

After losing weight, nearly all measures of balance were improved – with greater weight losses leading to greater balance. The scientists conclude that encouraging obese people to lose weight should help to reduce the greater of risk of falling that’s commonly seen in people who are obese.

WLR says:

It’s well known that being obese increases our risk of a host of health problems, ranging from heart disease and certain cancers to joint problems and diabetes. But it’s rare for most of us to think about the effects obesity has on our balance – and therefore our chances of falling over and injuring ourselves.

This study provides yet another reason to shift those excess pounds.

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