I hope you know by now that my primary interest in helping people lose weight is not about looking good in a swimsuit or fitting into a smaller size of jeans. My only motivation in encouraging people to get to their ideal weight — and stay there — is that I want people to be healthy. I want all my readers to experience energy, vitality, and pain-free living all the way into old age.
And I’ll keep saying it until people start listening: You can’t be your healthiest if you’re not at a healthy weight. In the June issue of Logical Health Alternatives, I’ll dive deep into the misguided notion of “healthy obesity” — the idea that you can be overweight and still be healthy. Research is continuing to prove that that idea is a fallacy. If you’re not already a subscriber, this is important info I don’t want you to miss out on, so take a minute and sign up today by clicking here.
For today, I’ll just stick with one small aspect of the research. It’s a new study that looked at weight and aging. And what it found pokes some serious holes in the claim that you can be heavy and healthy as you age.
According to the data, people who are overweight or obese when they’re young (an average of 33 years of age in this study) and continue to gain weight as they age pay for it in later years. After four decades, the people who never managed to get their weight under control have far worse physical function than their normal-weight peers.
As a formerly overweight person, I really paid close attention to this study. Here’s what I wanted to know: Did I really change my future by losing weight?
And the answer is, yes. I absolutely did. And so can you.
To measure physical function, the researchers in the Chicago Healthy Aging study looked at a few different factors. Walking speed, time to rise from a seated position, standing balance, and grip strength, to name a few.
They found that, compared to normal weight people who more or less maintained their weight through the decades, the stubbornly overweight group fared far worse. These are the people who were overweight and continued gaining weight — 20 pounds or more — over the years. When they reached older age (an average of 71 years old in this study), they had drastically worse physical performance scores.
They also performed far worse than the people who started off as overweight but then lost 10 pounds or more during the course of the study.
Which means that by taking control of my weight when I did, I changed the outcome of my life. (And, again, so can you.)
Now it’s also worth noting that the people in this study who were normal weight when they were young and then lost a lot of weight also suffered in physical performance as they got older. Not as much as the overweight and gaining group, but still worse than the ones who maintained a healthy weight throughout the years.
That could be because being underweight in itself is linked to frailty. Or it could be that weight loss in that group was due to illness.
Either way, the take home message from this study is clear. Being overweight and then allowing your weight to creep is associated with significantly poorer physical function in old age.
We already know that obesity is at the heart of untold suffering in older age — increased risk of medical complications, lower quality of life, and hastened age-related decline. But this study shows us that weight problems that persist through adulthood have clear and serious impacts on physical abilities in old age.
The good news is that there’s a clear, simple, and proven way to get your weight in check. The A-List Diet lays it all out for you. So if you haven’t already picked up a copy, click here to order one now.
Remember, it’s never too late to turn your future around. All it takes is shedding the weight that’s been holding you back.