A recent study out of China, looking at medical records of 36,000 US patients, found that fat people who lose weight after age 47 increase their risk of early death by 30%.
And they found gaining weight at middle age and later was not associated with an increase in mortality risk.
They concluded that stable obesity throughout adulthood, weight gain from young to middle adulthood and weight loss from middle to late adulthood were associated with increased risks of mortality. They also found that maintaining a weight in the “overweight” classification had no effect on mortality.
What does that all mean?
A few things.
If, as you get older, you put on some pounds – leave it.
Trying to lose those extra pounds may shorten your life. And if your medical professional wants to argue about it – have them read this study.
If you are classified as overweight (not “obese”) – leave it.
Many studies have shown that this is the weight classification as actually having the best outcomes as to mortality risk.
Now, as for the rest of us.
What are we going to do?
It is well known that dieting doesn’t work (except for a very small percentage of people), and in fact, often leads to weight gain – which this study says is bad for you.
If you have been fat your whole adulthood (like this fat old lady) or experienced weight gain from young to middle adulthood (like this fat old lady – due to forays into dietland) – and you’ve reached the ripe old age of 47 – leave it alone.
Losing weight may shorten your life.
(And many studies have found yo-yo dieting – or weight recycling – can be detrimental to your physical and mental well being.)
The study suggests the best thing to do is avoid weight gain in the first place (and, of course, offers no ideas on how that might be accomplished and ignores the fact that some bodies are just naturally fat).
The best way I know to avoid weight gain (from the vantage point of my many many years on this planet) is to avoid dieting.
If being fat is going to damage your body (and while I concede this may happen, I still believe that some bodies are naturally fat and thanks to evolution, do just fine in their state of fatness – especially if you don’t go fucking those fat bodies up with dieting) by age 47, any damage that might be done has been done. You only increase your mortality risk by losing weight after that age.
Of course, each body is different and each of us have our own unique circumstances, and most of all: Your body / your rules.
I am just providing you with this information so you can make an informed decision on what you decide to do with your own precious body.
My recommendation is love and respect your body for the wonder it is and the wonderful things it can do; and live your life as you best see fit.
And remember, in the end, we all have 100% risk of mortality.
So you might as well enjoy the ride while it lasts.