Weight Loss Health Benefits Change as You Age

With the obesity epidemic upon us, it’s very important to recognize the weight loss health benefits that go beyond size and appearance.  Achieving a healthy body mass isn’t just a matter of fitting into a certain pair of jeans.

Instead, it can dictate how great a risk of many chronic illnesses you have.  It can decide how easy or difficult it is for you to take on certain physical tasks.  It can impact your mental health and risks of certain disorders.  It can even affect your longevity.

Health Risks of Being Overweight or Having Obesity

Being overweight to any degree comes with the potential for an increased risk of many health conditions.  These include heart disease, diabetes and some cancers, among many others.  This is true regardless of your age. Being overweight can, therefore, shorten your life.

That said, weight loss health benefits also extend to any age.  This is true provided that the weight is lost gradually through long term healthy lifestyle changes. The reason is that the way losing weight affects you will change throughout your life as well.

The way losing weight affects you will change throughout your life.

Research into Weight Loss Health Benefits and Age

Research recently published in the BMJ and featured in a CNN report revealed that certain changes in body weight can affect the risk of premature death in ways not previously understood.  The researchers found that there is a decreasing link between weight gain and mortality as you get older.  Therefore, while it’s never good for you to be overweight or obese, losing weight too dramatically or quickly in middle age or late adulthood could negatively affect your chances of premature death.  This is especially true when it comes to heart disease.

As a result, study author, An Pan, Tongji Medical College professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatics, explained that the lesson to be taken from this research is that it’s better to begin early when it comes to weight control.  The earlier in your life you take on efforts to manage your body mass, the greater the weight loss health benefits.  To reduce the risk of premature death later in life, it is ideal to take control over weight earlier on.

The researchers found some unexpected patterns in weight loss health benefits.  People who started obese and remained that way throughout their adult life were at the highest premature death risk, which was expected.  When weight was gained from a person’s mid-twenties through middle age, the mortality risk rises when compared to people who achieve a healthy body mass and stay there throughout adulthood.

That said, in middle age and in older ages, the weight loss health benefits took a new direction.  Losing weight, particularly when done quickly, was significantly linked with raised mortality risk.

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