Belly Fat

Extra weight in older women is not in itself deadly, but the position where the fat is could be dangerous. A study carried out shows that women who are between 70 and 79 years old and are overweight did not reduce their years if the extra pounds were not piled up around the waist. However, at the same time, researchers have established that being underweight also contributes to a shorter lifespan.

Belly fat is more dangerous than being overweight

According to the lead researcher who is also the University of Arizona’s department of epidemiology and biostatics Zhao Chen, the fat that piles on the abdomen is deadlier than being overweight. At the same time, it was found that large waist size in the Hispanic women reported less mortality while they had bigger waists. Dr Chen says that older women should be worried when their weight is below what is required for their height.

If the waist size is more than 31.5 inches, then the risk of dying increases. The researchers established that mortality rate increases when the size of the waist increases. In fact, any waist size that is above 35 inches is classified as extreme risk.

Using the body mass index measurements, weight that is below 18.5 is classified as underweight. 18.5 to 24.9 is classified as normal and 25 to 29.9 is classified as overweight. Remember, BMI is used to estimate the body fat of a person using their weight and height measurement.

A person is considered to be obese if they have a BMI of 30 and more. However, obesity is further classified into three classes depending on the BMI measurements. BMI of 30 to 34.9 is considered as slight/Class I obesity. 35 to 39.9 is Class II Obesity while above 40 is Class III.

But that is not all that there is to weight and obesity. It also depends on your age, race and ethnicity to know how bad weight is. However, some of these differences will not be useful in determining the mortality rate from the weight. The waist size is directly associated with higher rate of death.

One thing that the study established without doubt is that being underweight in older women is more detrimental than being overweight. Body weight can be used to show different characteristics of the composition of the body, showing disease and health in different ways.

What the study involved

Dr. Chen further said that the weight of a person should be interpreted with caution, especially when it is being related to weight, age, race, ethnicity and all the other different measures that are used in weight. After reviewing statistics from more than 155,000 women aged between 50 and 79 who had taken part in a big study on postmenopausal women in the USA. The name of the study is Women’s Health Initiative and it was organized by the National Institutes of Health of the USA.

When the study was started, data like height, weight, waist size and age of the participants was taken down. More than 18,000 women died, in the 11 years of carrying out the study.

It is healthier to be a little overweight in older women as long as they mind where the weight is. In fact, this is more recommended than being skinny and underweight. It is recommended that women who have more pounds piled on their waist should exercise regularly to burn that fat, lest they require adult CPR.