Is your age group most susceptible to weight gain?
Despite the adage that your metabolism slows as you get older, a new study from the Journal of Obesity found that American adults gain the most weight earlier in life: in young adulthood, from their mid-20s to mid-30s.
Since young adults are typically thought of as more active and fit, many find this study’s results shocking. However, Dr. Namra Butt, non-invasive cardiologist and lipidologist at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, shares that this trend is now becoming the norm.
“In general practice and my perspective, the younger and middle-aged population is the most vulnerable to gaining weight,” Dr. Butt says.
Here’s the why: “In early adulthood, we see that people are losing control of their diet. The fast-food industry has taken over. Young people have less time, so they want to grab ahold of fast and tasty food. The other issue is expense; it is cheaper to buy a hamburger than a simple Caesar salad,” says Dr. Butt.
When it comes to losing weight, women are also disadvantaged as compared to men.
“Hormones, pregnancy, stress, anxiety and motherhood are some of the reasons for women gaining more weight than men,” Dr. Butt shares.
She explains that women are also designed to carry extra weight. Also, fat settles differently on women than men, as women’s hormones favor depositing fat in the hip and thigh region, which is difficult to lose.
Health inequities also play a role in weight gain due to a variety of factors.
Is there a possibility that this weight can come off later in life? Dr. Butt shares that with motivation, exercise, and a healthy diet, as well as early recognition and guidance by health care providers, there is a possibility of weight loss.
“Some underlying health conditions and hormonal changes can also create a spike in weight,” says Dr. Butt. “So, it is important to speak with a provider if you are experiencing a dramatic weight increase.”
Obesity can bring numerous ailments and poses a major risk for serious diet-related diseases, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, and certain forms of cancer.
“Knowledge and awareness concerning the consequences of obesity in the population needs to be addressed,” Dr. Butt says. “Obesity is reversible, but its consequences are not.”
Are you or a loved one trying to improve your health and combat obesity? Take a free online quiz to learn more about your healthy weight range.
About the Author
Anna Schapiro is a public affairs coordinator at Advocate Aurora Health. She has a background in public relations and communications and studied journalism at Northwestern University. When she’s not working on internal communications for the organization, she enjoys cooking, reading and living in Chicago.