The long-term study, published on August 14 in the journal JAMA Network Open, took information from 24,205 people trying to lose weight between 1988 and 1994. Then checkups were done every two years between 1999 and 2014. Results show losing weight by midlife “appeared to be associated with a mortality risk reduction compared with persistent obesity.” They consider midlife to be about 44 years old, or a range between 37 and 55.
During the study, there were 5,846 deaths. But weight loss resulting in a BMI under 25 (which is considered to be overweight), resulted in a 54% lower mortality risk. Scientists who conducted the analysis say the results show how important it is to reduce obesity early on in life. This is especially important because obesity is becoming more prominent in younger people across the country.
“At the population level, we estimated that weight loss from obese to overweight would prevent more than 3% of premature deaths, and preventing weight gain from normal weight could prevent more than 12% of premature deaths,” the authors say.
As the study shows, there are lots of reasons to be healthier as you age. Especially since up to 5% of muscle mass can be lost every decade. Keeping the metabolism up by eating every few hours, staying hydrated, sleeping enough, and more can also help reduce body fat around the midlife age.