In what is perhaps the most telling (no screaming) data I have ever come across affirming how life-zapping and disease-promoting excess body fat can really be, Harvard researchers report that women who gain weight in mid-life are dramatically more likely to enter the golden years burdened with chronic disease and disability than their lean counterparts. The prognosis is especially dismal for those who enter adulthood already overweight. Specifically, the study revealed women who were overweight (BMI >25) at age 18 and gained more than 22 pounds between 18 and 50 had less than a 20% chance of being healthy and alive at age 70. Putting a more positive spin on the findings – consider that those who maintained a healthy body weight throughout adulthood increased by 4-fold the likelihood of entering their 70’s free of 9 common, chronic diseases and with no cognitive, physical, or mental health limitations. This data was made possible thanks to over 15,000 women who have participated in the decades long, and still going, Harvard Nurses Health Study (BMJ Online Edition, Sept 09). To see for yourself how carrying around extra fat can make you sick click here.
Weight gain in adulthood is not an inevitable consequence of aging. You have enormous personal control over this aspect of your health fate. The secret to success is… no big secret! You must eat the right foods and get the right amounts of physical activity. You can download my new, free Weigh Less, Be More Scorecard for the specifics. If more detail is needed, check out my book.