Weight loss: Doctor explains importance of losing stomach fat
While these factors definitely do contribute to how healthy you will be in older age, one factor you may not have considered is remaining the same weight as you are.
Looking at the data of 54,437 participants, those whose weight changed over the age of 60 were less likely to live to 90 and beyond.
Taking the data from the Women’s Health Initiative, those who unintentionally lost weight were 51 percent less likely to survive till the age of 90.
Dr Aladdin Shadyab, associate professor at the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science at UC San Diego, commented on the findings.
“If ageing women find themselves losing weight when they are not trying to lose weight, this could be a warning sign of ill health,” said Dr Shadyab.
READ MORE… New tool can tell you exactly how many steps you need to take to lose weight
The professor noted that unintentional weight loss could be a “predictor of decreased longevity”.
Those who had gained more than five percent in weight over the age of 60 also saw a decreased chance of longevity.
Dr Shadyab added: “Our findings support stable weight as a goal for longevity in older women.”
Yet, should any women be advised by their doctor to lose a moderate amount of weight, they should still do so, the authors noted.
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These results are limited to the sample of women investigated, thus the conclusion drawn can not be generalised to the wider public.
A healthy weight
The NHS supports the use of the body mass index (BMI) to find out if you are currently underweight, within a healthy range, or overweight.
For those who need to gain weight, you could eat up to 500 extra healthy calories daily than what you currently eat now.
“Add extra calories to your meals with cheese, nuts, and seeds,” the health body advises.
If, no matter how much you eat, you are still underweight over time, it’s a good idea to book a doctor’s apppointment.
Should you fall into the overweight category, the key is to burn off more calories via exercise than you eat during a day.
By increasing how much you move throughout the day, and eating less, you could lose up to two pounds per week.
Dr Aladdin Shadyab and his colleagues’ study was published in the Journal of Gerontology.
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