Relationship Between Weight and Health
Dr. Tom Thomas heads the "Weight Regain" study at the University of Missouri. The study is finding clues that focusing on weight loss may not be the only way to a healthy lifestyle.
"Statistics suggest that about 75% of anybody in a weight loss program will regain the weight within three to five years," he said.
And with being overweight, you risk metabolic disease. Signs of metabolic disease include low levels of good cholesterol (HDL), high triglycerides (linked to fatty acids), high glucose (linked to sugars), and high abdominal fat and blood pressure.
After six months of a diet and exercise weight loss program, subjects enter two groups. One stops exercising after six months and starts eating more. The other keeps up the exercising and also starts to intake more calories. Ph.d. researcher, Scott Rector is helping Dr. Thomas in the experiment.
"If somebody is physically active even if their body weight is fluctuating up and down, they might be able to maintain metabolic health," he explained.
Researchers monitor the subjects weekly to make sure they are healthy and okay to exercise. Each group stays on the experiment for one year and by the end of four years, researchers will have a better understanding of how weight affects your health.
So what's the one problem with this theory? Well in a day in age where cars take the place of walking or biking, staying active is a challenge.
"Americans aren't very good at being active either. So it may not be any more successful," he added.
And although the study isn't done yet, there is one thing that's for sure, staying active is key in staying healthy.