If tests suggest you are at high risk for heart disease or diabetes, the main thing to do is lose weight, says Dr. Landsberg.
“All physicians would recommend for a number of reasons that overweight patients should lose weight; there’s cardiovascular disease risk, there’s cancer risk, which wasn’t addressed in these studies,” he says. “So weight loss is important.”
However, if you’re overweight and can’t seem to shed the pounds, you should also keep trying, because exercise can help, says Wylie-Rosett.
“The physical activity story is—don’t just look at the scale, look at your whole lifestyle,” she says. “If you’re physically active, you still are potentially a lot healthier even if your weight doesn’t change much.”