Dieting is more successful for men than women, researchers have found.
Men lose more weight and benefit more from shedding kilograms, they said.
Doctors tracked 2200 overweight men and women, placing them on an eight-week calorie-controlled diet. Males lost 16% more weight than women, the scientists reported.
In addition, their fat levels and heart rate improved more, and their metabolic syndrome score, a marker of diabetes risk, fell further.
The research team, which included scientists from the universities of Nottingham, Copenhagen and Helsinki, believe this is because men tend to put on weight in the form of belly fat, which is easier to burn off. By comparison, women put on weight on their hips, thighs and face.
Belly fat, or “intra-abdominal fat”, is dangerous because it wraps around the vital organs, so the health benefits of shedding it are greater, showed the study, published in the Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism journal.
The team found men lost an average of 11.8kg, compared with 10.2kg for women and said the men could have lost more, but were less likely to stick to the diet: “Women were closer to their theoretically achievable weight loss target (82.2%) than men (64.5%). “This suggests women were more compliant with the diet,” lead author Dr Pia Christensen, of the University of Copenhagen, said.