Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Avoid weight gain at younger age to stay healthy in your old age

Avoid weight gain at younger age to stay healthy in your old age
Results of the Chicago Healthy Aging study presented at the recent American Heart Association's (AHA) Epidemiology and Prevention | Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2017 Scientific Sessions in Portland, Oregon show that significant weight gain over time as well as obesity and overweight in younger age result in poor physical performance in older age.
Researchers from Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois evaluated 1,325 men and women who were initially examined in 1967-73 and then re-examined in 2007-10 in the Chicago Healthy Aging study. The mean age at baseline was 33 years and at follow-up was 71 years, when muscle strength (hand grip) and performance (4m gait speed and Short Physical Performance Battery [SPPB]) were measured.
The short physical performance battery (SPPB) measures static balance, gait speed, and getting in and out of a chair and has been used to monitor function in older people. The scores range from 0 (worst performance) to 12 (best performance).
At follow-up, subjects who were initially overweight and had gained the most weight (> 20lbs) were more likely to have a low SPPB score, slow walking speed (gait speed <0.8 m/s), or sex-specific handgrip strength (ORs: 4.55, 4.58, and 1.86, respectively) vs those study participants who had normal weight at baseline with minimal weight change (-10lbs to 20lbs), independent of other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Results of this study highlights the fact that prevention is better than cure. And preventive efforts of lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis should start at a young age.
Normal weight obesity is the new epidemic of the society. A person can be obese even if the body weight is within the normal range. An extra inch of fat around the abdomen can increase the chances of heart disease by 1.5 times. A waist circumference of more than 90 cm in men and 80 cm in women increases the risk of future heart attacks. Normal weight obesity is also associated with the same health risks as does somebody who is overweight and obese.
Any weight gain after puberty is invariably due to fat. Though the overall weight can be in the acceptable normal range but any weight gain within that range will be abnormal for that person. Therefore, any individual who gains weight of more than 5 kg after the age of 18 years in girls and 20 years in boys is obese and overweight. Any weight gain at this age should be avoided. After the age of 50, the weight should reduce and not increase.
To live more than 80 years without lifestyle diseases, keep your abdominal circumference, lower blood pressure, LDL (bad) cholesterol, pulse rate and fasting sugar all lower than 80. Dr KK Aggarwal National President IMA and HCFI

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