People are always talking about how important maintaining ideal weight is when it comes to long-term health as well as life expectancy. This is also the same mantra that you will hear your doctor chant and this prompts you to take measures to shed those extra pounds you are carrying. After all, who wants to have health issues or die young because of being overweight? However, it now turns out that maybe all this talk about being overweight and having lowered life expectancy is hocus-pocus.
For a long time, weight has been an obsession with researchers, who have wanted to figure out how weight (or overweight) affects a person’s health in the future. What these researchers found was surprising. The researchers found that when people are slightly overweight, it does not have any effect on long-term health. However, here it is important to note that being slightly overweight means having BMI under 30. Researchers also found that at times people, who were overweight, actually ended up having better health in the future.
Findings On Weight
Researchers collected data of 5,888 adults, who were 65 years and older. This data was collected from a survey and included the weight of the people when they were 65 years old and also what health they had a few years later. Based on the collected data, researchers tried to project the life expectancy and health of these participants. This is what they found:
- Women, who were healthy and had normal weight at 65 years, would live an additional 22.1 years on an average. Out these 22.1 years, these women would have overweight for 9.6 years on an average and have poor health for 5.3 years.
- On the other hand, both men and women, who were underweight at the age of 65, would end up suffering from health-related problems as they grow older.
- The most surprising was the last finding wherein researchers found that people, both men and women, who were overweight at the age of 65, would seldom suffer from poor health as they age.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings are totally contrary to everything that we have been hearing and taught all these years. Doctors have been stressing how important it is to maintain ideal body weight and try to convince people to lose the excess weight they are carrying as such people are at a higher risk of developing obesity-related health problems, such as diabetes, joint problems, respiratory issues, and cardiovascular problems.
However, this particular study did not look at obese people or those who were highly overweight. Obesity is a problem in the US and many people have health problems because they are obese.
Nonetheless, if we go by what the finding have revealed, it clearly means that being underweight is quite bad for health, but being slightly or moderately overweight may not as bad for health at we initially believed it to be. So the only way to ensure that a person does not suffer from health-related issues as they grow older is by maintaining optimal weight for their age and height.
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