It is unclear whether all obese individuals should be prescribed weight loss (WL) treatment. The effect of a clinically significant WL of 5% on metabolic factors among metabolically normal and abnormal overweight and obese (MNO and MAO) individuals was examined.

Design and Methods

The sample included 392 overweight and obese adults from the Wharton Medical Clinic. MAO was defined as having one or more clinically relevant aberrations in glucose, triglycerides, blood pressure (BP), high-density lipoprotein-C, low-density lipoprotein-C, preexisting, or current medication use for metabolic conditions.


Of the 392 patients, 21.2% of the sample was MNO at baseline and 41.3% of the sample attained a 5% WL. Regardless of initial metabolic health status, improvements in most risk factors were observed with a 5% WL in comparison with those who did not lose weight. Even MAO patients who did not achieve a 5% WL still significantly improved BP and cholesterol over the treatment period.


A clinically significant WL is beneficial for the cardiometabolic risk profile of both MNO and MAO. However, a 5% WL is not necessarily required to improve the cardiometabolic risk profile of MAO. Thus, lifestyle-based WL provides beneficial metabolic effects for all overweight and obese individuals, particularly those with significant metabolic aberrations.