Controlling Caloric Intake Can Lead to Better Sleep and Sex


Cutting calories doesn’t only help obese adults improve their quality of life, recent study results found.

Cutting calories doesn’t only help obese adults improve their quality of life (QOL), recent study results found.

The findings, which were published inJAMA Internal Medicine, suggested that reducing caloric intake by 25% over 2 years can also improve quality of sleep and sex.

Researchers from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, studied 220 nonobese adults (average age: 37.9 years, body mass index [BMI]: 22-28) for 2 years in order to test the effects of calorie restrictions on mood, overall QOL, sleep, and sexual function in nonobese adults.

The researchers collected data about BMI and mood at baseline, 12 months, and 24 months. The participants also completed questionnaires that measured mood, QOL, stress, sleep, and sexual function.

The adults who restricted calories lost an average of 16.7 pounds at the 2-year mark, compared with less than a pound lost among those in the control group by the end of the second year. The group with controlled caloric intake also reported improved mood, reduced tension, improved overall health, and a better sexual drive and relationship by the end of the study period.

The researchers linked the reported improvements to the increased vigor, reduced mood disturbance, improved general health, and better quality of sleep that are often associated with substantial weight loss.

“Calorie restriction among primarily overweight and obese persons has been found to improve QOL, sleep, and sexual function, and the results of the present study indicate that 2 years of [calorie restriction] is unlikely to negatively affect these factors in healthy adults; rather, calorie restriction is likely to provide some improvement,” the study authors wrote.

In an accompanying editorial, Tannaz Moin, MD, MBA, MSHS, of UCLA noted that more than one-third of the US population is obese. Dr. Moin added that interventions similar to the ones investigated in theJAMAstudy are essential to managing the increasing rates of obesity.

“[The report] enhances our understanding of possible drivers of weight loss and propose additional angles with which to tackle thegrowing obesity epidemic,” Dr. Moin concluded.

Clinicians can let their patients know that the benefits oflosing weightextend beyond cardiovascular issues and diabetes prevention, as it can evidently improve more immediate QOL standards.

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