Weight often increases gradually with age, from half a kilogram to a full kilogram per year. Doctors cite a variety of changes in the body as causes, for example in muscle weight, hormonal balance, and altered lifestyle habits in so-called midlife. Many people struggle to lose weight.
Causes of weight gain in the elderly
There are several reasons for age-related weight gain:
- energy consumption: From the age of 30, muscle mass decreases by 0.2 to 1% per year. At the same time, the percentage of fat in the body increases. Because fat cells consume fewer calories than muscle cells, the so-called basal metabolic rate decreases. For example, it is up to 30% less for a 75-year-old man than for a 25-year-old man.
- hormones: Estrogen levels decline in women during menopause and testosterone levels in men with age. This reduces muscle mass and reduces energy consumption.
- metabolism: From the age of 60, resting metabolism slows down. an international Research on 6,000 people has shown that calorie consumption then decreases by about 0.7% each year.
- movement: Many people move less as they age. It can also reduce muscle mass. A breakdown of muscles leads to a drop in calorie consumption.
If you eat a little more each day than you consume, you will gain weight: if the average additional intake is only 19 calories per day, the excess calories add up to a weight gain of one kilogram after one year.
Diseases caused by age-related weight gain
If age-related changes lead to obesity, it affects blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood lipid levels. These diseases can be the consequence:
Determine overweight with BMI and waist circumference
Body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference help determine if you are overweight:
- Of the BMI is calculated by dividing your own body weight by the square of your height in meters. Example: If a woman is 1.69 meters tall and weighs 85 kilograms, then her BMI is “85: (1.69 x 1.69) = 29.8”. A BMI of 25 or more is considered mildly obese (pre-obese) and a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese (obese).
- Belly fat in particular can have a negative effect on health. According to the World Health Organization, women should waist size from 88 centimeters, men from 102 centimeters. The reason: fatty tissue in the abdominal region produces pathogenic hormones. They promote high blood pressure and underlying inflammation. Belly fat also releases fatty acids into the blood. This can have a negative effect on blood lipid levels, increase the risk of arteriosclerosis and therefore damage the heart.
Lose weight by eating healthy and exercising
To reduce obesity, exercise and a balanced, low-fat diet are important. The diet should include more healthy protein, fewer unhealthy carbs, and fewer sweets.
medical doctor Matthias Riedl, specialist in internal medicine, diabetologist
At the Straw House 2
(040) 80 79 79 0