Weight gain in 20s, 30s and 40s 'knocks years off your life'

Henrietta Strickland
October 18, 2019

In accordance with the scrutinize published within the BMJ journal, weight reduction at older ages (from the center to unhurried adulthood) used to be furthermore linked to higher likelihood.

They analyzed data from more than 36,000 adults, 40 and older, who were part of a USA health survey in 1988-1994 and 1999-2014.

Deaths from any cause, and specifically from heart diseases, were recorded for an average of 12 years, during which time there were 10,500 deaths.

Weight loss in young to middle adulthood was not significantly related with death risk.

The researchers say it suggests that prevention of further weight gain may be more important than encouraging people to diet once they have piled on the pounds.

But research by Chinese scientists who looked at the health records of more than 36,000 people in the United States found those who were obese after 47, but went on to lose their excess weight, were more likely to die earlier than those who stayed overweight.

After taking other factors into account, researchers concluded that people who were obese throughout adulthood had the highest risk of early death.

Overall, being obese for the entirety of adult life still carried the biggest risks - with up to a 72% increased danger of dying young, it was found.

Obesity is increasing in Britain, with one in every four adults now dangerously overweight and 20 per cent of children aged between 10 and 11.

By contrast, no such increases in mortality risk were observed for people who lost weight and went from being obese to a healthy weight over the same period.

They linked weight loss in that age group to a 30 per cent increased risk of mortality.

The authors acknowledge that the research was observational and therefore can not reliably determine the causes of the associations. However, the findings were based on a large, nationally representative sample with a long follow-up period and detailed analysis of weight changes across different life stages, they say.

Researchers found the association between weight gain and mortality weakens as you get older, and losing weight in middle age or late adulthood may heighten the risk of premature death, particularly when it comes to heart disease.

"Our takeaway is that it's best to prevent weight gain at younger ages to reduce the risk of premature death later in life", said study author An Pan, a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Tongji Medical College in Wuhan, China.

Tam Fry, spokesman for the UK's National Obesity Forum, said: "The message to maintain a healthy weight throughout life couldn't be clearer". Pan said more research is needed to unravel the reasons for the link between changes in body weight and mortality, and the long-term health consequences of weight loss.

'The results highlight the importance of maintaining normal weight across adulthood, especially preventing weight gain in early adulthood, for preventing premature deaths in later life, ' the researchers said.

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