Losing Weight By Age 50 May Reduce Risk of Obesity-Related Diseases
Obesity is associated with an increased risk of a range of health problems, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. A recent study suggests, however, that men who are obese in their early years can reduce the risk of developing life threatening obesity-related illnesses if they lose weight before middle age.
Participants in the study included approximately 5,000 men. The researchers used the men’s military service records to determine their BMI levels at age 21 and then followed up with them 21 years later. The researchers found that the men who had high BMI levels at 21 but had lowered them by the time they were 50 had similar or lower rates of diabetes compared to the men who were normal weight when they were 21.
A higher BMI earlier in life was not associated with a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, or diabetes but a higher BMI at 50 was, regardless of BMI at earlier stages of life.
Researchers from St. George’s University of London conducted the study. It was published on September 15, 2015, in BMJ Open.
Obesity has a far ranging negative effect on health. Each year, obesity causes approximately 300,000 premature deaths in the United States. The negative health effects associated with obesity include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, metabolic syndrome and sleep apnea.
Improving eating habits and increasing physical activity play a vital role in preventing obesity. It is recommended that we eat five to six servings of fruits and vegetables per day. It also recommended that we get at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity every day.