Obesity and Later Life

Here’s yet another reason to try to maintain a healthy weight. Research now shows that’s one of the best ways to ensure a healthy old age. A study for the British Medical Journal finds that obesity at middle age reduces the chances of a healthy elderly life by nearly 80 per cent.

In fact, women who were already overweight at the age of 18 and gained more than 22 pounds had the worst health outcomes. The healthiest elderly women had maintained a stable weight in adulthood.

The link between obesity and disease is well-established, but there hasn’t been much on how it affects the elderly. The researchers emphasize that this time they were studying healthy survival, not longevity, and they want to remind us that medical science can keep people alive but that doesn’t guarantee a healthy elderly life.

They concede that controlling your weight is tough. The subjects of this study were all nurses who understand health– still nearly a quarter of them were overweight or obese.
Still, after tracking eleven diseases in 17,000 women over 25 years, researchers say the bottom line is women need to keep a healthy body weight to enjoy a healthy later life.

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