A recent study coming out of Massachusetts reveals that steady weight gain over the ages of 18 to 55 could be linked to increased chances of developing chronic diseases and affect mortality. Weight issues and obesity are currently a huge health concern globally. In America alone, adults reportedly gain approximately one to two pounds annually during the above time period. Still, even the smallest of weight gain over the years can eventually turn into obesity, and the mechanics around this has been linked to negative health consequences.
The research team for this effort reviewed numbers from two separate studies: Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and the Nurses’ Health Study. Participants from both of these studies recollected weight numbers from early adult years; for females this was 18, for males, this was 21. They also recorded their weight as it was in the middle of adulthood (age 55). Over 92,800 females participated and over 25,300 males.
When all was said and done, women gained an average of just over 27 pounds over 37 years, while males gained just over 21 pounds during their 34-year time period.
The team compared those participants who stabilized their weight prior to 55 (not gaining or losing more than five pounds), versus the ones who had steadily gained weight, and when the two groups were compared, those who had increased their weight also increased their chances when it came to chronic diseases. Those in the accumulated weight-gain category also increased their chances of early death, and the risks of a good score on their healthy aging assessment (created to test physical and cognitive health), also decreased.
In fact, even a small weight gain of 11 pounds over the 18 to 55-time period was connected to an 8% increased chance of cardiovascular disease; 14% increased chance of high blood pressure; and a 30% increased chance of type 2 diabetes. An 11-pound gain was also connected to a six percent increased chance of those cancers related to obesity, a five percent increased chance of early death, and reduced the chance of healthy aging by 17%.
Still, Medical News Today advised that the team noted a limitation to their study was that the early adulthood weight was remembered by participants at a later time, rather than real-time. This could offer a gap for misclassifications.