Being obese at age 25 increases risk for serious weight problems over 35 years of age according to new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Exposure to long-term obesity has become more common with increases in obesity at younger ages. Researchers examined the relationship between BMI at age 25, obesity later in life, and biological indicators of health. They found that people who were obese by age 25 had a higher chance of more severe obesity later in life, but that current weight, rather than the duration of obesity, was a better indicator of cardiovascular and metabolic risk. Their findings are published in the June issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Investigators looked at data from the 1999-2010 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and found that men who were obese at age 25 had a 23.1% estimated probability of class III obesity (defined as a BMI greater than 40) after age 35, while men of a normal weight at age 25 only had a 1.1% chance of severe obesity after age 35. For women, the statistics were even more dramatic with the likelihood of class III obesity jumping to 46.9% if obese at age 25, compared to just 4.8% for those at a normal weight.
While this seems to be a bleak projection for those battling obesity, the study also revealed some more hopeful findings. Examining the effects of long-term obesity, the study showed that present weight, as opposed to the duration of obesity, was a much better indicator of cardiovascular and metabolic risk. This means that losing weight at any stage may help reduce risks, regardless of how long a person has been overweight.
"The current findings suggest that the biological risks of longer-term obesity are primarily due to the risk of more severe obesity later in life among those obese early in life, rather than the impact of long-term obesity per se," explains study lead author Jennifer B. Dowd, PhD, Associate Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, City University of New York (CUNY) School of Public Health, Hunter College. "This is good news in some respects, as overweight and obese young adults who can prevent additional weight gain can expect their biological risk factors to be no worse than those who reach the same level of BMI later in life."
Although the study found that current weight was a better indicator of risk than the length of obesity, it is still significant that those obese at 25 years were more likely to be morbidly obese in middle age. By being more likely to reach severe levels of obesity, they are more susceptible to complications such as hypertension, inflammation, and diabetes. Also, investigators admit that long-term obesity may play a role in other chronic conditions.
"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," adds study co-author Anna Zajacova, PhD, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Wyoming.
As the obesity epidemic continues to unfold, studies like this give us better insight into both the short and long-term effects of being overweight, as well as a model to predict those who are most at risk later in life.
"This study adds to growing evidence that in terms of traditional cardiovascular, inflammatory, and metabolic risk, obesity duration confers little additional risk beyond the current level of attained weight," concludes Dr. Dowd. "The bad news, in turn, is that maintaining a stable level of obesity from a young age is not the norm, and being obese at age 25 years places individuals at risk of a much more severe level of obesity later in life compared to those who are normal weight at age 25 years."
Angela J. Beck | Eurek Alert!
Some brain tumors may respond to immunotherapy, new study suggests
11.12.2018 | Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Climate change and air pollution damaging health and causing millions of premature deaths
30.11.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy