Formerly Fat Elders Wear Out Earlier
Well, it's official: If you're elderly and fat, you're more likely to have problems getting around than if you're thin and elderly. A new study proves it. But here's the real kicker: If you're thin and elderly, but you used to be fat, you're more likely to develop problems getting around than people who were never fat. As a matter of fact, you're almost as likely to have mobility problems as people who are fat and elderly. Apparently, you just can't win for losing.
The seven-year study followed 2,845 seniors who averaged 74 years old and had no mobility problems when the study began. During the study, the women who were overweight or obese from their mid-twenties to their seventies were nearly three times more likely to develop mobility problems than the women who were normal weight throughout their lives. But the women who were not fat in their seventies, but had been at age 50, were 2.7 times more likely to develop mobility limitations than the women who were never obese. The overweight or obese men were 1.6 times more likely to develop mobility problems than the thin men. But the men who were not fat in their seventies, but had been at age 50, were 1.8 times more likely to develop mobility limitations than men who were never obese.
The study was led by Denise Houston, assistant professor of gerontology at the School of Medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, and was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
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