A new clinical trial found that overweight and obese postmenopausal women enjoyed significant weight loss on diets with serious calorie restrictions compared to those on more moderate diets. However, the women who lost the most weight also experienced a decrease in bone density. Learn about this study as part of your continuing weight loss education.
Bone Mineral Loss Vs Weight Loss
Participants who lost serious weight were less likely to continue the diet than those who ate moderately. Researchers believe this is because the weight loss encouraged participants to continue making changes on their own. And while bone mineral loss (BMD) must be taken into consideration, the overall benefits cannot be dismissed.
"The consequences of accelerated BMD loss with a severely energy-restricted dietary obesity treatment are clinically concerning, especially if BMD loss continues beyond the 12-month intervention, because it has been linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis and fragility fracture," wrote researchers overseen by Radhika Seimon, PhD, of the University of Sydney in Australia. "However, this bone loss must be considered in light of the beneficial effects of substantial weight loss on other health outcomes and healthcare costs."
Reducing Obesity-Related Health Issues
While the restrictive diet promotes overall health, the BMD issue needs further evaluation.
"In addition, if treated effectively, the costs of obesity-related health complications would be significantly reduced," the researchers noted. "Thus, while the current trial should not discourage the use of total meal replacement diets as a treatment for obesity in postmenopausal women, further investigation is needed to determine the long-term consequences of the associated BMD loss on health outcomes such as osteoporotic fractures and to determine how BMD losses could be prevented in this population during and after these diets."
Researchers subsequently emphasize caution to those with osteopenia or osteoporosis before going on calorie-restrictive diets.
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