Primary Medical Care - Caring for the total healthcare of families.
ScaleMiddle-Age Spread can be a Killer

Trying to reduce or keep your weight down? Here's some incentive from the world of medicine:

A study to look at the effects of weight on longevity concludes that thinner is definitely better at almost all ages, including middle-age and beyond. The study found that being too heavy seems to shorten life expectancy up to about age 75. After that, being big doesn't seem to make much difference, unless people are really obese.

This may help settle one controversy among diet experts — whether it's safe to put on a few pounds as we age. Until recently, it was assumed that a little weight gain was nothing to worry about, but guidelines put out by the US Department of Agriculture in 1995 came down against middle-aged spread. They said people in their 60s shouldn't weigh any more than those in their 30s.

The new study backs the USDA's stand on this. It suggests that staying trim — even thin — is healthiest as people go through their 40s, 50s and 60s.

The study was based on American Cancer Society data on 324,135 men and women when were enrolled in 1960, and then followed up in 1972. It was published in an issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, along with an editorial urging doctors not to push people too hard to lose weight.

The study found that the people who live longest have body mass indexes between 19 and 22, which is quite thin. It is about equal to — or a little under — the 1983 Metropolitan Life Insurance table of ideal weights.

Body mass index, or BMI, is quickly becoming the standard way of talking about obesity, since it is an easy way to compare the fatness or people of different heights. BMI is body weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared.

A 5-foot-4, 118-pound woman has a BMI of 20. Fashion models generally have BMIs around 18.

Mortality seemed to increase significantly when people's BMIs reached 25, and it went even more sharply when BMIs were over 30. A 5-foot-4, 145-pound woman has a BMI of 25. At 175 pounds, she has a BMI of 30. Figures from federal surveys show that 59 percent of American men and 49 percent of women now have BMIs over 25.

Experts believe that weight loss eases high blood pressure and diabetes, but it's never been proven that those who take it off are as healthy as people who never put it on in the first place.

[Close Window]

www.primarymedicalcare.com




Primary Medical Care Website Medical Disclaimer Information provided on this web site is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice and is not intended to replace the services of a physician, nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. You should not use information on this web site or the information on links from this site to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. If you have or suspect you have an urgent medical problem, promptly contact a professional healthcare provider. Primary Medical Care advises you to always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Any application of the recommendations in this website is at the reader's discretion. As a courtesy, Primary Medical Care may provide links to outside sources and websites operated by other parties; however, Primary Medical Care is not responsible for information produced by other parties or on other web sites. The links are provided for your convenience only. The inclusion of links does not imply any endorsement of the materials or any association with their producers. Primary Medical Care does not operate, control or endorse any information, products or services provided by third parties through the Internet. While we strive to keep our website current, medical practices sometimes change quickly, and we cannot guarantee accuracy of the contents.