-Dr. Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC
A research material published in the British Medical Journal states that overweight middle-aged women reduce their chances of leading a healthy old age by up to 80%. They also have high chances of suffering from chronic ailments such as cancer, coronary heart diseases and poor quality of life.
Dr Oscar Franco, Assistant Clinical Professor of Public Health, University of Warwick Medical School in collaboration with researchers from Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, found that for every 1 kilo gained since the age of 18, the odds of healthy survival into old age decreased by 5%.
They also found that women who were overweight at the age of 18 and continued to gain weight as they aged stood a high chance of developing major chronic disease. Compared to women with BMI of 18.5-22.9kg/m2, obese women with BMI of more than 25kg/m2 had 79% lower odds of aging without chronic diseases.
Summarizing the research results, Dr. Oscar said, “This study provides new evidence that adiposity at mid-life is a strong risk factor predicting a worse probability of successful survival among older women. In addition, our data suggests that maintenance of healthy weight throughout adulthood may be vital for optimal overall health at older ages.”
Adding further, Oscar said, “Given that more and more people are surviving to older ages and, at the same time, gaining weight, our results may be particularly important with respect to clinical or public health interventions.”