Obesity is one of the major health concerns in the United States right now. One in three Americans are obese and one in six children (ages 2-19) are obese. Recent estimates show that 160 million Americans are overweight or obese, which is nearly 30% of the population. The United States has more obese individuals than any other country.

There are many negative health effects caused by obesity including; high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, joint problems, sleep apnea, cancer, metabolic syndrome, and psychosocial effects.

Because obesity has been on the rise, many people in the United States have made efforts to lose weight. The results of a survey showed that nearly half of the population in the United States have tried losing weight last year.

Many people find it easy to lose weight in the short-term but then have difficulty keeping the weight off long-term. Long-term weight loss is considered losing 5-10% of an individual's total weight.

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A study published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings shows that by only losing 5-10% of your weight, you can dramatically decrease your risk of developing metabolic syndrome.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that people who have excess weight, lose at least 5-10% of their weight to see improvements to their cardiometabolic health.

The findings published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings support the AHA's claim. Losing even a small amount of weight is a great start, however, Greg Knell, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, emphasizes the benefits and importance of losing at least 5% of your body weight.

The researchers looked at data collected from 7,670 adults who participated in a health survey. Information collected from the participants included; weight, waist size, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol levels.

The study concluded that people who lost 5-10% of their weight were 22% less likely to develop metabolic syndrome and people who lost 20% or more of their weight were 53% less likely to have metabolic syndrome.

"If you're overweight or obese, even losing just a little is better than none. But the rewards appear to be greater for those who manage to lose more. The evidence to date suggests that a 5 to 10 percent weight loss for those with excess weight is beneficial to one's health. A higher level could potentially lead to lower cardiometabolic risk," said Knell.

Not all of the participants were able to lose weight. It turned out that 62% of the participants were not able to lose the extra weight.

"Since weight loss is so difficult, a 5 to 10 percent weight loss for those with excess weight should be the target. This should be done gradually through following a [healthful] lifestyle with guidance from experts, such as your primary care provider," said Knell.

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