For many people in the study sample, however, a ‘clinically significant’ loss of 5% occurred.
didn’t eliminate their risk factors for heart disease, the results showed. In fact, the mean overall score on the eight risk factors for heart disease was similar across the entirety of the study population — regardless of reported weight change, up or down.
This is the first study to compare weight loss strategies and outcomes in the context of the American Heart Association’s “Life’s Essential 8,” a program promoting heart disease risk reduction through the exploration of recommended metrics for body weight. Checklist.
, blood sugar, smoking, physical activity, diet and sleep. The AHA first defined the construct of heart health with “Life’s Simple 7” metrics in 2010, and updated the recommendations in June 2022 with “Life’s Essential 8”.
Researchers at Ohio State University found that overall, American adults had an average score of 60 out of 100 on eight measures—suggesting that there’s plenty of room for improvement even among those whose diet and exercise behavior scored poorly on some metrics. Helped move the needle.
“The Life’s Essential 8 is a valuable tool that provides key components for heart health, many of which are modifiable through behavior change,” said senior study author, associate professor of medical dietetics at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences in Ohio Colleen Space said. State.
“Based on the findings of this study, we have a lot of work to do as a country,” she said. “Even though there were significant differences on several parameters between the groups, the fact remains that overall, adults in this country are not adopting the essential 8 life behaviors that are directly related to heart health.”
Posted in research Journal of the American Heart Association,
Data for the analysis came from 20,305 US adults 19 or older (average age 47) who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 2007 and 2016. Participants reported their smoking status, physical activity, average hours of sleep. per night, weight history and weight loss strategy, and what they had eaten in the past 24 hours. Health exams and laboratory tests measured their body mass index, blood pressure, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and blood glucose.
Ohio State researchers used the data to determine individuals’ values for eight essential metrics of quality of life and assessed the quality of their diet according to the Healthy Eating Index, which follows the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Within the sample, 17,465 individuals had lost less than 5% of their body weight in the previous year, maintained their weight, or gained weight. Another 2,840 reported an intentional loss of at least 5% of their body weight over the same time frame.
“Clinically significant weight loss results in improvements in some health indices,” Spice said. “People should be hopeful in learning that losing just 5% of their body weight is meaningful in terms of clinical improvement. This is not a huge weight loss. It is achievable for most, and I hope encouragement encourages people instead of paralyzing them. Fear of failure.”
How to lose weight without hurting your heart?
In this study, adults with clinically significant weight loss reported higher diet quality, specifically better scores on intake of protein, refined grains and added sugar, as well as more moderate and vigorous physical activity and Reduced LDL cholesterol loss compared to the group without clinically significant weight gain. On the other hand, the weight-loss group also had higher average BMI and HbA1c blood sugar measurements and fewer hours of sleep — all metrics that would bring down their overall Life Essential 8 scores.
Among those who did not lose at least 5% of their weight, a large proportion reported skipping meals or using prescription diet pills as weight loss strategies. Additional strategies reported by this group include low-carb and liquid diets, laxatives or vomiting, and smoking.
“We see that people are still being attracted to non-evidence-based approaches to weight loss, which are not sustainable. What is sustainable is a change in behavior and eating patterns,” Spice said.
Federal data predicts that more than 85% of the adult US population will be overweight or obese by 2030 (compared to the current rate of 73%), Spice said, to prevent a related increase in heart disease and other health problems. , a paradigm shift towards prevention is in order.
“We need to move towards complete disease prevention, by the time people are diagnosed with the disease, it becomes overwhelming, and individuals may feel that at that point it is too late,” he said. Is.”
One idea to consider, she said, would be prescriptions for regular visits with a registered dietitian trained in behavior change, complete with insurance reimbursement — similar to physical therapy.
“We have fantastic research, we have incredible teachers,” she said. “We don’t have a policy that promotes optimal health across the lifespan, from pregnancy through old age.”