According to a recent multi-institutional study, older women who maintain a stable body weight after 60 are more likely to reach their 90th birthdays. In this article, we will examine how your body weight can help you live a longer lufe.
What Does The Research Say?
The study, which was published in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences included 54,437 women from the Women’s Health Initiative and examined the short-term and long-term weight changes in women and compared that to the age they reached. It revealed that women who experienced unintentional weight loss had 51% lower odds of reaching 90.
While weight loss was connected to decreased longevity, a weight gain of 5% or more did not contribute to exceptional longevity, which indicates the importance of maintaining a stable weight.
How Was The Study Conducted?
The study aimed to analyze any connections between weight changes (intentional or unintentional) and exceptional longevity in older women. According to its authors, prior studies examined the effects of weight loss in early to middle adulthood, such as shifting from being a person with obesity to being overweight. However, these studies did not consider if the weight loss was intentional.
The University of California San Diego (USCD) study included nearly 55,000 postmenopausal women participating in the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study. The authors also chose data from women aged 61 to 81 at the time of enrollment for the current study.
During the study, the researchers examined weight changes from the start of each participant’s enrollment and later at the 3-year and 10-year marks. These women were placed into three categories, namely:
● Stable weight (less than 5% difference from starting weight)
● Weight loss (more than 5% fall from starting weight)
● Weight gain (more than 5% increase from starting weight)
The authors also grouped the women into “intentional weight loss” or “unintentional weight loss groups” at the 3-year weight. According to the study, women who experienced unintentional weight loss of 5% or more had lower chances of reaching 90.
Why Weight Maintenance is Important
Dr. Jessica Lee, associate professor of geriatrics with McGovern Medical School, said the study results show that the change from survival to exceptional longevity is more likely in those who maintain their weight rather than gain or lose it.
However, Katie Lounsberry, a registered dietitian at Providence Mission Hospital, said the findings may not apply to everyone. She also said observational studies are good for examining whole groups but are not necessarily applicable to individual patients.
New research shows that maintaining a stable weight could help you live a long life. You can achieve this by eating a balanced diet, carefully planning meals, and limiting empty calories.