The Age at Which You Gain Weight May Determine Your Lifespan

Unintentional weight gain at any age can lead to equally unwanted consequences. Chronic disease and its impacts have exploded with increases in worldwide obesity, which has grown more than twofold since 1980. Now, researchers have another warning: Gaining all that weight during a specific age range could create additional health risks, and it may even shorten a life.

Being obese at any age increases a person’s chances of developing serious health conditions, but weight gain during early and middle adulthood can carry additional risks. Let's look.

Obesity and Chronic Disease

The World Obesity Federation considers obesity a disease in itself, with type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and metabolic changes being among its deadliest symptoms. Obesity increases the risks of developing numerous other conditions, including:

  • Asthma.
  • Cataracts.
  • Migraines.
  • Renal disease.
  • Fatty liver disease.
  • Osteoarthritis and gout.
  • Several types of cancer.
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Reducing weight at any age may reduce the risks of developing these and other serious diseases. So please don;t feel like anything is hopeless. This is all just a game of averages.

Age, a Deadly Cofactor

A recent study found that weight gain between young adulthood and middle age increased a person's overall mortality risks by up to 49%. Previous research has shown moderate weight gain between the ages of 18 for women and 21 for men up until 55 years of age can increase cardiovascular disease and cancer risks. It also increases the likelihood of suffering some form of chronic disease by 55. Cardiovascular risks may further increase in people who were previously overweight and gained significantly more during middle age.

Weight gain during young and middle adulthood may increase breast cancer risks in women. Similarly, middle-aged men with high BMIs are more likely to develop prostate cancer. Other cancers that may increase with midlife weight gain include colon, pancreatic, ovarian, kidney, thyroid, liver, leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

But there's so much hope in all of this. None of these stories explore how much these rates drop with just a little weight loss. We’re seeing more reasons than ever to work toward reaching and maintaining a healthy weight — no matter when that weight was put on — but of course this is even more incentive to do it by middle age. Talk to a doctor if you need help finding a healthy and effective weight management program. The sooner you get your weight under control, the better your chances of living long and well into your senior years.

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2/13/2020 8:00:00 AM
Wellness Editor
Written by Wellness Editor
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