Making it to middle age without extra pounds was no guarantee for staying at a healthy weight -- even in the short term. About one in five women and one in four men who were at a healthy BMI at a routine Framingham study examination became overweight after four years. Among those who were overweight, 16 to 23 percent of women and 12 to 13 percent of men became obese within four years.
"Our results, although not surprising, are worrisome," comments Ramachandran Vasan, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and lead author of the study. "If the trend continues, our country will continue to face substantial health problems related to excess weight."
"Overweight and obesity increase the risk of poor health. We hope these results will serve as a wake-up call to Americans of all ages," adds Nabel. "Even those who are now at a healthy weight need to be careful about maintaining energy balance to avoid gaining weight. Taking simple steps to make sure that the overall the number of calories you consume do not exceed the amount you burn can play a major role in lowering your risk for many chronic conditions."
Overweight increases the likelihood of developing diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, stroke, breathing problems such as asthma and sleep apnea, some cancers, osteoarthritis, and gall bladder disease. Obesity is associated with these conditions as well as with early death. Research has shown that even a small weight loss (just 10 percent of body weight) can help people who are overweight or obese lower their risk of developing many of these conditions.
The Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obe
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