Short-term medical benefits and adverse effects of weight loss

Ann Intern Med. 1993 Oct 1;119(7 Pt 2):722-6. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-119-7_part_2-199310011-00019.


Weight loss reduces many of the health hazards associated with obesity including insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia, sleep apnea, hypoxemia and hypercarbia, and osteoarthritis. Potential adverse effects of weight loss include a greater risk for gallstone formation and cholecystitis, excessive loss of lean body mass, water and electrolyte problems, mild liver dysfunction, and elevated uric acid levels. Less consequential problems such as diarrhea, constipation, hair loss, and cold intolerance may also occur. The short-term adverse effects are not severe enough to contraindicate weight loss, nor do they outweigh its short-term benefits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet, Reducing / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Time Factors
  • Weight Loss / physiology*