Research suggests that simply attempting to lose weight, even if that attempt is unsuccessful, lowers mortality rates substantially. Over 6,000 subjects, all at least 35 years of age, were asked to fill out a survey in 1989 regarding their intentions to lose weight. The results are fascinating:
It was found that people who lost weight intentionally had 24 percent drop in mortality, compared with subjects not trying to lose weight and reporting no weight change.
For those who lost between two and 20 pounds, the mortality rate dropped even more, by 30 percent.
Mortality rates were lower in people who reported trying to lose weight than in those not trying to lose weight, independent of their actual weight loss.
The story from the survey was very different, however, for people who lost weight unintentionally. Their mortality rate was 31 percent higher.