Actually, some studies have surprised doctors and scientists by demonstrating that carrying just a little too much weight might not actually be a bad thing for people in midlife or their senior years. According to an article on LIveScience, an extra few pounds might actually be protective in case of an illness that causes rapid weight loss. Some studies show that an extra 1 or 2 points on the body mass index (BMI) for middle-aged and senior adults might actually lead to longer average lives. However, there is a fine line, and the risk of being very overweight or obese is still significant in older adults.
Risks of Obesity in Senior Citizens
Weighing five or ten pounds more than the weight charts say is normal might not matter and could actually be helpful for some senior citizens. Still, there is little doubt that being very overweight and obese is a risk factor in developing certain acute and chronic diseases that plague some elderly people.
Metabolic syndrome is a health condition that increases the risk for developing some kinds of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
These are risk factors for developing metabolic syndrome:
- In men, waist measurements greater than 40 inches
- In women, waist measurements greater than 35 inches
- Triglycerides over 150
- For men, HDL under under 40
- For women, HDL under 50
- Blood pressure over 130/85
- Fasting blood sugar over 110
Of course, it’s best to prevent these symptoms with a reasonable amount of exercise and a healthy diet at any age. According to WebMD, increasing the amount of the good kinds of fat, i.e. Omega-3, reducing alcohol intake, avoiding trans fats, and eating a reasonable amount of calories a day are good dietary measures.
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