Weight gain in early to middle adulthood may increase major health risks and mortality

[Excerpted from Harvard Gazette]

Cumulative weight gain over the course of early and middle adulthood may increase health risks later in life, according to a new study led by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. They found that compared with people who kept their weight stable, people who gained a moderate amount of weight (5 to 22 pounds) before age 55 increased their risk of chronic diseases and premature death, and decreased the likelihood of achieving healthy aging. Higher amounts of weight gain were associated with greater risk of chronic diseases.

The study was published online July 18 in JAMA.

“Our study is the first of its kind to systematically examine the association of weight gain from early to middle adulthood with major health risks later in life,” said senior author Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology and chair of the Department of Nutrition. “The findings indicate that even a modest amount of weight gain may have important health consequences.” …[Read full article]