A meager weight loss of 10% or less will create beneficial health effects.
I am asked this question several times a year. I have always struggled to answer it and usually answer it with another question: “How much weight do you want to lose?”
Nearly every person that enters a new diet will end it without reaching their goal. A research article from 1992 actually gave the answer to this question. Goldstein in 1992 completed a review of prior research and published it in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders. The study was a meta-analysis that found that a 10% reduction in weight or less will help obese patients with NIDDM, hypertension or hyperlipidemia, modest weight reduction appeared to improve glycemic control, reduce blood pressure, and reduce cholesterol levels.
The bottom line: For patients who are unable to attain and maintain substantial weight reduction, a smaller goal is beneficial. Modest weight loss should be recommended; even a small amount of weight loss appears to benefit a substantial subset of obese patients.