6 May 2016

Yet more research has come to light confirming the link between adiposity (the state of being fat) and premature death.

Results from 2 large studies of more than 116,000 people show that a heavy body shape throughout early and midlife, especially a weight increase in middle years, is associated with higher risk of dying.

By contrast, people who maintain a lean body shape tend towards longevity.

The Harvard authors say these results indicate the health benefit of weight management across a person’s lifespan.

Participants were asked to recall their body shape at ages 5, 10, 20, 30 and 40 years and provide their BMI at age 50. They were then followed from age 60 over a median of 15-16 years or until death.

“. . .  we found that participants who remained heavy from age 5 to 50 had the highest risk of death, whereas those who maintained a stably lean body shape had the lowest mortality,” writes Dr Mingyang Song, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology in The BMJ.

Even those who were lean in childhood or adolescence but gained weight in middle life were at increased risk of mortality, she said.

Last Reviewed: 06/05/2016

Reproduced with kind permission from 6minutes.com.au.


Trajectory of body shape in early and middle life and all cause and cause specific mortality: results from two prospective US cohort studies.