How can I prevent age-related weight gain?

Mark P. Caruso, MD
Internal Medicine
Moderate to vigorous physical activity is more likely to help prevent age-related weight gain, instead of dieting alone, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of South Carolina examined the related affects of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, diet quality and weight status across a range of age categories in U.S. adults. The study of 4,999 Americans, ages 20 to over 70 years old -- published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise -- found that body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference tended to be higher in the older adults.

But it was higher levels of physical activity that were consistently associated with more favorable weight status, compared to attempts at changing dietary habits without incorporating regular exercise. Of course, proper nutrition is critical at any age, but the most recommended programs for ideal weight management involve both dietary improvements and physical activity.

Another group of researchers found that staying physically active as you get older could prevent brain damage that can limit mobility.

Both studies are only the latest to reaffirm the importance of regular exercise, which can include something as simple as brisk walking, as you get older. Remember the catch phrase "never slow down" because when you do slow down, that’s when the aging process begins to catch up.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.