In the United States, it is estimated that over 13 million women suffer from the effects of urinary incontinence.

A new study from the National Institute Of Diabetes And Digestive Diseases indicates that being obese or even overweight greatly increases the occurrence of this condition.

There can be many causes for urinary incontinence such as being pregnant and following childbirth as well as basic issues such as age causing the bladder muscles not to work as well.

Scientists divided a selection of over 300 overweight women who were suffering urinary problems into two groups. One group were simply given a considerable amount of information on exercise and best diet practices, but received no other help with weight loss.

The second group were given all kinds of exercise and weight loss assistance. It was found that the women managed to cut 8% from their weight on average and then found that incontinence events were cut by nearly 50%.

Those that were just given information managed to loose 1.6% of their body weight and went on to have 28% less incontinence episodes.

But significantly, both groups benefited from the healthy weight loss in terms of the number of times per week they suffered urinary incontinence.

The scientists believe that further weight loss will lead to fewer occurrences although it is not yet clear if a large amount of weight loss will completely remove the incontinence problem.