Obesity is a complex health disorder that significantly affects a person’s physical, metabolic and psychological health. This condition increases the risk of health problems such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and respiratory problems. It is estimated that even modest weight loss can improve or prevent the health problems associated with increased body weight.
A new study by researchers from the University of Birmingham has found that drinking a few glasses of water – 500ml to be precise – half an hour before a meal can help obese adults to lose weight. The researchers point out that this simple intervention could be extremely beneficial and is one that can be easily promoted through public health campaigns.
As part of the study, researchers selected 84 obese adults from general practices and monitored them for a period of more than 12 weeks. Each participant was advised on how to change make healthy changes in dietary habits and levels of physical exercise.
Forty-one participants were asked to “preload” before meals with plain tap water and the remaining 43 were advised to imagine they had a full stomach before eating.
- On average, the participants in the first group lost 1.3kg (2.87lbs) more than those in the control group.
- Those who preloaded with water before all the three main meals of the day demonstrated a weight loss of 4.3kg (9.48lbs) within 12 weeks. On the other hand, those who only pre-loaded once or not at all, only lost an average of 0.8kg (1.76lbs).
With the encouraging initial results for the trial, the researchers hope that their findings will boost further research on this easy step to weight loss.