Being overweight at 25 ‘increases chance of obesity later in life’

6 May 2014

People who are classed as obese at age 25 have a higher chance of being severely obese later in life, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Investigators examined data from the 1999-2010 US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and discovered men who were obese at 25 were 23.1 per cent more likely to have a body mass index (BMI) of over 40 at 35.

Conversely, men of a normal weight at 25 only had a 1.1 per cent chance of severe obesity after age 35. The statistics were even more dramatic, as the likelihood of having a BMI of over 40 jumped to 46.9 per cent.

The study also revealed that a person’s current weight, as opposed to how long they have been classed as obese, was a better indicator of cardiovascular and metabolic risk. This means losing weight at any stage may help reduce risks, regardless of how long the individual has been overweight. 

Anna Zajacova, co-author of the study, added: "Duration of obesity may still have important implications for mobility and musculoskeletal disease, research questions that should be investigated. Prevention of weight gain at all ages should thus be a clinical and public health priority.”

Posted by Edward Bartel


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