Women between the ages of 40 and 60 are the focus of new national guidelines aimed at preventing unhealthy weight gain that can lead to serious illness. The studies have been published in Review Letters and Clinical Guidelines history of internal medicine,
“More than two-thirds of middle-aged women are overweight or obese. Given women’s increased risk for weight gain in mid-life, interventions aimed at preventing obesity and the serious health consequences associated with it are needed. There is an important need.” Kimberly D. Gregory, MD, MPH, corresponding author and vice chair of Clinical Guidelines, Women’s Health Care Quality and Performance Improvement in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cedars-Sinai.
Gregory is part of the Women’s Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI), which developed the recommendations based on a review of clinical trials involving nearly 52,000 middle-aged women. The initiative was launched in 2016 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and operates in collaboration with the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Health Resources and Services Administration.
“In the past, most studies and recommendations have focused on examining the benefits and harms of weight loss tools used by women who were already overweight. But as a prevention strategy, these new guidelines Strongly encourage healthcare providers to begin addressing the issue of weight. Benefits and risks of obesity with normal-weight patients,” Gregory said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity has been declared an epidemic in the United States, with 42% of adults having a body mass index (BMI) over 30. A BMI of 18.5-25 is considered healthy, and one between 25 and 30 qualifies as overweight.
According to the study, women gain an average of 1.5 pounds of weight per year during mid-life, increasing their risk of transitioning to an overweight or obese BMI. The new guidelines emphasize the need to help women manage weight by advising them to stay healthy while they are at a healthy weight and not to wait until they develop overweight or obesity.
“Women are at higher risk of severe obesity due to menopause and age-related physiological changes,” said Amanda Velazquez, MD, director of obesity medicine in the Department of Surgery at Cedars-Sinai. “Significant weight gain is associated with a serious risk of developing cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and many cancers. That’s why those with a moderate-to-normal BMI weigh on the need to limit weight gain. It’s important to give advice to women across the age group,” said Velázquez, who did not participate in the study.
The WPSI review suggests that some behavioral counseling approaches to prevent future weight gain in midlife women may result in modest weight loss. Velazquez, an obesity and weight loss expert, says it’s important to remember that weight management is a lifelong journey and investment in good health, and that there is a lot of help available.
“Don’t give up. It’s never too late to start making changes. There are some weight management tools available, including personalized lifestyle plans, support groups that provide accountability and community, nutritional counseling, and new weight-loss strategies.” Medications. For people with severe obesity, a BMI over 40, bariatric surgery may be an option to consider,” Velázquez said.
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