Obese people who lose as little as 3 to 5 percent of their body weight improve their health. Research suggests that losing 5 percent of body weight results in a 3-mmHg drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading, which is a measure of the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats) and a 2-mmHg drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number in a blood pressure reading, which is a measure of the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats), according to the 2013 guidelines. Losing even more weight is associated with greater health benefits, so the guidelines recommend that people start out with a goal of losing 5 to 10 percent of their body weight over six months.
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