Weight loss in young adults with obesity may halve mortality risk


ISLAMABAD, APRIL 14 (online): A study has found that people whose weight reduced from indicating obesity to indicating overweight between early adulthood and midlife had a halved risk of dying during the follow-up period.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that the global prevalence of obesity has almost tripled since 1975. In 2016, more 650 million adults had obesity.
In the United States, the prevalence of obesity among adults increased from 30.5% to 42.4% of the population between 1999 and 2018.
Obesity is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer, making it a major cause of preventable premature death.
Estimates of the number of deaths that can be attributed to obesity vary widely, however, because of the complex interactions between body weight and factors such as age, smoking, diet, and physical exercise.
In addition, scientists are still unsure whether carrying excess weight in young adulthood causes harmful physiological changes that cannot be reversed by subsequent weight loss.
Doctors often use a measure called body mass index (BMI) to determine whether a person has a healthy weight. To calculate this, the doctor divides the person’s weight in kilograms by their height in meters squared.
Experts define a healthy BMI as 18.5–24.9, one indicating overweight as 25.0–29.9, and one indicating obesity as 30 or higher.
The researchers behind the present analysis analyzed data from 24,205 people in the U.S. who were part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
As part of this survey, scientists recorded the weights of the participants when they were between the ages of 40 and 74. They also asked the participants how heavy they had been 10 years earlier, which the researchers described as midlife, and at the age of 25, which they defined as early adulthood.