Muscle mass may increase with age

Weight Gain In Old Age: What Are The Reasons?

Status: 03/06/2020 12:35 p.m. | archive
With age-related weight gain, a balanced diet and more exercise help.

After the age of 40, many people gain weight. The weight gain is often half a kilogram to a full kilogram per year. Doctors cite various changes in the body as causes, for example in muscle weight, in the hormone balance and changed lifestyle habits in the so-called middle of life. Many find it difficult to get rid of the pounds. Regular exercise and a balanced diet are important.

Causes of weight gain in old age

There are several causes of age-related weight gain:

  • power consumption: From the age of 30, muscle mass decreases by 0.2 to 1 percent per year. At the same time, the percentage of fat in the body increases. Because fat cells consume fewer calories than muscle cells, the so-called basal metabolic rate decreases. For example, this is up to 30 percent lower for a 75-year-old man than for a 25-year-old.
  • metabolism: From the age of 40, the metabolism decreases by around 15 percent. One reason are the hormones: in women the estrogen level drops, in men the testosterone level. This reduces muscle mass and reduces energy consumption.
  • Move: With increasing age, many people exercise less. This can also reduce muscle mass. A breakdown of the muscles leads to a lower consumption of calories.

Anyone who eats a little more than he or she consumes every day increases: If the additional intake is only 19 calories per day on average, the excess calories add up to a weight gain of one kilogram after a year.

Consequences of age-related weight gain

If age-related changes lead to obesity, this has an impact on blood sugar, blood pressure and blood lipid levels. These diseases can be the result:

Determine excess weight with BMI and waist circumference

Whether you are overweight can be determined with the body mass index (BMI) and the waist circumference:

  • The BMI is calculated by dividing your own body weight by the square of your height in meters. Example: If a woman is 1.69 meters tall and weighs 85 kilograms, then she has a BMI of "85: (1.69 x 1.69) = 29.8". From a BMI of 25 and above, it is considered to be slightly obese (pre-obesity), from a BMI of 30 to obesity (obesity).
  • According to the World Health Organization, women should be one or more Waist circumference lose 88 centimeters, men from 102 centimeters. The reason: fat tissue in the abdominal area produces disease-causing hormones. They promote high blood pressure and underlying inflammation. In addition, fatty acids are more easily released from the belly fat, which pass into the bloodstream and can damage the heart.

Reduce obesity with exercise and a balanced diet

To reduce obesity, exercise and a balanced, low-fat diet are important. The menu includes more healthy protein, fewer unhealthy carbohydrates and fewer sweets.

Experts on the subject

Dr. Songül Gräfendorf, specialist in general medicine, nutritional medicine, sports medicine
Fahltskamp 6
25421 Pinneberg
(04101) 224 23 
www.dr-graefendorf.de

Dr. med. Matthias Riedl, specialist in internal medicine, diabetologist
medicum Hamburg
At the straw house 2
20097 Hamburg
(040) 80 79 79 0
www.medicum-hamburg.de

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