By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) –More than two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese and many try desperately to lose weight. Now, a new study finds that you don’t have to lose a huge amount of weight to significantly improve your health.

Researchers at the University of Texas found that if you’re overweight, losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight lowers your risk of metabolic diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes by 22 percent. Losing more is even better.

That said, most people are unsuccessful at long-term weight loss, so having an attainable goal like 5 to 10 percent of body weight can help, as well as trying to lose the weight gradually through lifestyle changes like diet and exercise.

Dr. Mallika Marshall