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Obesity before age 50 sets you up for multiple health challenges

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

Hard to imagine: Eminem is turning 50 this year. So are Tracee Ellis Ross and Jennifer Garner. As much of a turning point as that is for those stars, for folks who have obesity before age 50, growing older is a much tougher challenge.

A study in Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology reveals that if you're severely overweight before age 50, you have five times the risk of developing an additional, life-threatening condition in the next 12 years, compared to a healthy weight person! In addition, the researchers wanted to see how early obesity was related to developing what they call multimorbidity -- having four or more serious health conditions in addition to obesity. They found that by the time the younger obese participants were 75 years old, 53.3% of them had multiple health hazards -- more than six-fold higher than folks who were a healthy weight. Only 8.3% of folks who were a healthy weight had multiple health hazards.

Treatment for obesity may require lifestyle changes, support/therapy and medical intervention using medications and/or surgery. If you're 50 or younger and have obesity, to reduce your risk for life-shortening complications, talk to your doctor about:

-- Changing your diet, exercise and sleep management techniques. Get a referral to a nutritionist and have a checkup to evaluate your health and determine appropriate physical activity.

-- Using medication that may help with weight loss.

Together, set a realistic goal for the first six months of your new routine. At six months, if you're not seeing results, discuss surgical alternatives. There are solutions.

 

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Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email questions@GreatAgeReboot.com.

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
 

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