Lean Body for Longevity

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Maintaining a lean body throughout life helps a person live longer, while being overweight shortens life, state researchers at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Data was collected on 80,266 women and 36,622 men who recalled their body shape at ages 5,10, 20, 30, and 40 years-old. They then provided BMIs at age 50 and were followed from age 60 for an average of 15 to 16 years for incidence of death. Results showed that slim people had the lowest risk of dying during that 15-year period – 12% lower risk for women and 20% lower risk for men.

A meta-analysis of 230 studies – that included more than 30 million people and almost 4 million deaths – was conducted by researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. They found that gaining weight increased the risk for premature death. A BMI in the range of 20 to 23 appeared optimal for reducing premature mortality in adulthood.

Seniors who strength train at least twice a week lower their odds by half of dying prematurely from almost any cause, according to a study from Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey.

Elizabeth Somer, M.A.,R.D.

Song M, Hu F, Wu K, et al: Trajectory of body shape in early and middle life and all cause and cause specific mortality. British Medical Journal 2016; May 4th.

Aune D, Sen A, Prasad M, et al: BMI and all cause mortality. British Medical Journal 2016; May 4th.

Kraschnewski J, Sciamanna C, Poger J, et al: Is strength training associated with mortality benefits? Preventive Medicine 2016; 87:121-127.

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