It's OK to be a fat old lady

RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Registered Users Posts: 31,259 Curl Connoisseur
I knew it!
January 28, 2010 — Current body mass index (BMI) thresholds for overweight and obesity may be overly restrictive for older people, according to the authors of a cohort study published online January 27 and in the February print edition of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

"Obesity is a global epidemic that is prevalent in developed and developing countries; affects people of both sexes and all ages; and has negative health consequences (ill health, disability, and mortality), economic costs, and social implications," write Leon Flicker, PhD, from the University of Western Australia in Perth, and colleagues. "In industrialized countries, the prevalence of overweight and obesity in older people is a growing public health concern, particularly because sustained aging of their populations is expected to continue for many decades, and obesity and aging represent large components of healthcare spending."

The study goal was to assess all-cause and cause-specific mortality associated with underweight (BMI, <18.5), normal weight (BMI, 18.5 - 24.9), overweight (BMI, 25.0 - 29.9), and obesity (BMI, ≥30.0) in an older population. In the Health in Men Study and the Australian Longitudinal Study of Women's Health, 4677 men and 4563 women aged 70 to 75 years were recruited in 1996 and followed up for up to 10 years. The main study outcomes were relative risk for all-cause mortality and specific mortality related to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and chronic respiratory disease.

Overweight participants had lowest mortality risk, with risk for death for overweight participants 13% less than for normal-weight participants (hazard ratio, 0.87; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.78 - 0.94). Obese and normal-weight participants had similar risk for death (HR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.85 - 1.11).

Across all levels of BMI, being sedentary doubled the mortality risk for women (HR, 2.08; 95% CI, 1.79 - 2.41) but was associated with only a 28% greater risk for men (HR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.14 - 1.44).

"These results lend further credence to claims that the BMI thresholds for overweight and obese are overly restrictive for older people," the study authors write. "Overweight older people are not at greater mortality risk than those who are normal weight. Being sedentary was associated with a greater risk of mortality in women than in men."

Limitations of this study include observational design, measurement of height and weight only once at study entry, use of BMI as a surrogate measure of body fat, reliance on self-reported height and weight, and lack of generalizability to older people who are frail and at risk for death.

"A greater risk was found for extreme obesity," the study authors conclude. "Mortality risk must be balanced by the potential loss of physical function associated with obesity.... Overweight older people are not at greater mortality risk, and there is little evidence that dieting in this age group confers any benefit; these findings are consistent with the hypothesis that weight loss is harmful."

The Men, Women and Ageing project is funded by a National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia/Australian Research Council Ageing Well, Ageing Productively Strategic Award. The study authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

J Am Geriatr Soc. Published online January 27, 2010. Print publication 2010;58:234-241

Comments

  • nynaeve77nynaeve77 Registered Users Posts: 7,135 Curl Novice
    Well, that's good news, since I'll probably be one.
    "Maybe Lucy's right. Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you're the Charlie Browniest."--Linus, A Charlie Brown Christmas


    My fotki: http://public.fotki.com/nynaeve77/
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  • anonymous_22139anonymous_22139 Registered Users Posts: 659 Curl Neophyte
    My mom at 5'5" weighed 156 lbs from her late 40's until she was 75. For years her doctors told her she needed to take a few pounds off. She tried and tried but would yo-yo back up even after taking up running half marathons for exercise. She was strong, healthy, sexy and vibrant.

    Now at age 79, she weighs 125 lbs. Every month when she goes to the doctor, they tell her she needs to gain weight. She looks so frail and unhealthy - it scares the daylights out of me. But she really has lost her appetite and can't bring herself to eat much.

    Thank God, she had on a few extra pounds, she would be nothing but bones by now.
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Registered Users Posts: 31,259 Curl Connoisseur
    nynaeve77 wrote: »
    Well, that's good news, since I'll probably be one.


    Me too. The nursing homes are full of ancient round little old ladies. We can sit and rock on the porch together.
  • heart-of-dixieheart-of-dixie Registered Users Posts: 392
    My mother has never had a weight problem and now weighs 120 pounds (5'6") and is 70 years old. She looks like a skeleton and looks very very frail. She will not
    eat anything that has fat in it. I sometimes wish she was a 'fat' old lady. The frailness is scary and you always wonder what if she gets sick (ex. gets the flu) and loses more weight. I think the older you get, you need a little bit of padding. Looking frail and having a collapsed face does not look good on a healthy person.
  • CurliLocksCurliLocks Registered Users Posts: 10,573 Curl Connoisseur
    nynaeve77 wrote: »
    Well, that's good news, since I'll probably be one.


    Me too. The nursing homes are full of ancient round little old ladies. We can sit and rock on the porch together.

    Me three! I'll be rocking on the porch with you ladies! :D
    SF Bay Area, CA * "The Angel-Goddess-Guru of Haircoloring" :D
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  • B-wavyB-wavy Registered Users Posts: 1,733 Curl Connoisseur
    CurliLocks wrote: »
    nynaeve77 wrote: »
    Well, that's good news, since I'll probably be one.


    Me too. The nursing homes are full of ancient round little old ladies. We can sit and rock on the porch together.

    Me three! I'll be rocking on the porch with you ladies! :D

    I'm in! :blob4:
  • jeepcurlygurljeepcurlygurl Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 20,731 Curl Virtuoso
    B-wavy wrote: »
    CurliLocks wrote: »


    Me too. The nursing homes are full of ancient round little old ladies. We can sit and rock on the porch together.

    Me three! I'll be rocking on the porch with you ladies! :D

    I'm in! :blob4:

    Me too!

    I really do think it's better to have a little extra weight as we get older. Something to fall back on when we get the inevitable illness, have surgery, etc.
    --I'm located in Western PA.   --I found NC in late 2004, CG since February 2005, joined the forums in May 2005, started going grey in late 2005.   --My hair is 3B with some 3A, currently at mid back length when dry,  texture-medium/fine, porosity-top is low, middle is medium, ends are porous, elasticity-normal.   --My long time favorite products are Suave & VO5 conditioners, LA Looks Sport Gel, coconut oil, honey, vinegar.   
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  • deezee02deezee02 Registered Users Posts: 1,509
    Kitschy wrote: »
    My mom at 5'5" weighed 156 lbs from her late 40's until she was 75. For years her doctors told her she needed to take a few pounds off. She tried and tried but would yo-yo back up even after taking up running half marathons for exercise. She was strong, healthy, sexy and vibrant.

    Now at age 79, she weighs 125 lbs. Every month when she goes to the doctor, they tell her she needs to gain weight. She looks so frail and unhealthy - it scares the daylights out of me. But she really has lost her appetite and can't bring herself to eat much.

    Thank God, she had on a few extra pounds, she would be nothing but bones by now.

    This is me...no matter what, I seem to hit 150ish and just stay there. A very strict diet and working out everyday and I get to 130ish and stick there.
    58eCm4.png
    SCxkm4.png

    Come swag with me!

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