It’s never too late to lose weight! According to a recent study, the misconception about it being harder to lose weight as you get older may be misguided.
According to the study by the University of Warwick and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust, older people can lose weight as effectively as young people can. Don’t let your age hold you back from achieving your goals!
Successful weight loss has no weight barrier. As reported in the journal Clinical Endocrinology, this study focused on patient records from an obesity service based at a hospital.
What was involved in the study?
242 randomly selected patients
These patients have attended an obesity service between the years 2005 – 2006
Two groups were compared by the researchers, those aged between 60-78 and those under 60.
The amount of weight lost during this time was studied to see whether age played a part. The researchers calculated the percentage of body weight reduction across both groups.
The hospital-based intervention included lifestyle changed that focused on the individual patient, including diet changes, mental health support and exercise encouragement.
The study was conducted at the Warwickshire Institute for the Study of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (WISDOM) at UHCW.
What was the result of the study?
Statistically speaking, the two groups were equal, with the 60+ group reducing their weight by 7.3% and those under 60 reducing their weight by 6.9%. Each group spent a similar amount of time at the service – 33.6 months for the older group and 41.5 months for the younger group.
It should be noted that the patients referred to the program had BMIs over 40Kgm-2, meaning they were morbidly obese.
Why is this important?
Being obese carries severe health risks, including mental health risks such as anxiety and depression. When we can focus on decreasing weight to a healthy level, wellbeing can be improved, reducing mortality. Though weight loss is important in general, it becomes more so as time goes on – the effects of being obese are compounded with ageing.
One of the factors holding older persons from taking steps to change their weight is a misconception about losing weight. By focusing on studies such as this one that highlights the important of lifestyle-based interventions, you can let go of the idea that long term weight change is only for the young
Stay proactive, know that you’re in control and where you need to, work with your medical professional on the best route for you. A healthy weight is not just for the young – make it a priority, and you can enjoy a healthy and fit body for as long as possible!