Being a Bit Overweight May Benefit Seniors

New study does not encourage obesity in the elderly

People over the age of 85 may benefit from a little extra body fat, investigators at the Tel Aviv University found in a new study. The excess fat appears to have a protective effect on seniors, but not for people younger than that

The team is keen to point out that this study does not refer to being obese when you're very old, but rather just a little overweight. Obesity remains one of the leading preventable causes of death, and is associated with a variety of severe medical conditions, including diabetes and heart diseases.

Professors Jiska Cohen-Mansfield and Rotem Perach believe that some of the factors affecting mortality risk in younger people may not apply to the elderly after a certain age. Details of the study appear in a recent issue of the Journal of Aging Research.

“Though obese people over the age of 85 may be less at risk of death, they may suffer more from obesity-related illnesses. There are other factors to consider, such as pain, multiple ailments, and mobility,” says Cohen-Mansfield, as quoted by Science Blog.

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