Effect of Weight Management Interventions on Mental Health
Taking part in a weight loss program such as the one Health Plus offers can help you be healthier both physically and mentally!
Recent research is showing that behavioral weight management interventions can improve the physical and mental health of people who are overweight or obese. A study published in October 2020 looked at the impact of behavioral weight management programs on mental health-related outcomes in adults with overweight or obesity. For those who participated in them, the interventions led to improvements in body image, mood, quality of life, self-efficacy (the strong, positive belief that you have the capacity and skills to achieve your goals), exercise self-efficacy and diet self-efficacy. These improvements were present at the end of the intervention and were still present 12 months thereafter. Click here to access the research article.
It’s official – Sitting jeopardizes your weight loss!
A recent research study published in 2021 in Obesity, the journal of the Obesity Society, found that people who are successful with long term weight loss sit less and are more active than those individuals with obesity who have not lost weight. The study compared the sitting time and amount of physical activity for individuals who successfully kept off an average of 54 pounds for over 3 years with a group of individuals with obesity who had not lost weight. The study found that the individuals who maintained their weight loss spent an average of three hours less each day sitting.
This study confirms the importance of physical activity for maintaining weight loss. Reducing sitting time and other sedentary behaviors is key to keeping the weight off that you have worked so hard to lose. The study does not suggest that simply standing more rather than sitting will contribute to weight loss maintenance, but rather suggests that less sitting which results in more movement could be a key factor in maintaining weight loss. Click here to read the abstract of this research article.
Many of you are working from home and spend a lot of time sitting, perhaps more sitting than you did pre-pandemic. I challenge each of you to think about how you can sit less and move more!
Healthier Weight, Healthier Brain
Obesity has been identified as a risk factor for future dementia, although it is unclear exactly why having obesity increases the risk of dementia later in life. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. Since there is a lack of effective treatments for Alzheimer’s, it is important to try and reduce risk through maintaining a healthy weight.
A study published in 2020 found that obesity is associated with reduced blood flow to the brain. This may explain why obesity is associated with an increased risk for dementia. Brain scans that tracked blood flow to 128 regions of the brain were conducted on over 17,000 men and women aged 18-94 (average age of 41). The participants were placed in weight categories based on their BMIs: underweight (BMI <18.5), normal (BMI 18.5-24.9), overweight (BMI 24.9-29.9), obese (BMI >30), and morbidly obese (BMI 40 or higher).
The researchers found that the higher the BMI, the less blood flow to 5 regions of the brain which are particularly vulnerable in Alzheimer’s disease. The association of higher BMI with less blood flow was evident in all participants regardless of their age. Click here to read the research paper.
This study suggests that having extra weight is not good for your brain. When you focus on making your body healthier through management of weight and regular physical activity, you will also be helping your brain be healthier through lowering your risk for Alzheimer’s disease.