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Obesity Now Can Lead to Disabilities Later in Life

patient-wheelchairWhen we think of losing weight, it’s usually about immediate gratification. How I look now. How I feel now. But if you want real motivation to lose the excess weight, think about what it may be doing to your body in the long run.

A new study confirms what is a pretty logical assumption anyway. Obesity in early adulthood can lead to disabilities in your golden years. But the important thing to note is that, even if you lose weight, you may be at a higher risk of disability even if you lose weight. If you’re already overweight, don’t despair. You still stand to benefit from getting to a healthy weight. That’s because the longer you are overweight, the greater the risk of having mobility limitations later in life.

“Over the past couple of decades there has been a trend toward declining rates of physical disability in older adults,” says lead researcher Dr. Denise Houston, an assistant professor of gerontology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

“However,” she adds, “the dramatic increase in overweight and obesity in the United States may reverse these declines and may lead to an increase in physical disability among future generations of older adults.”

The excess weight creates problems down the road with wear-and-tear to the joints. Then, of course, there’s the higher risk of diabetes and heart ailments.

The study followed 2,845 people in their 70s for seven years. The most startling find was that even for those who were at a normal weight, if they spent any time in their adulthood overweight, they were more likely to have a disability.

(via: Yahoo)

May 6th, 2009

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