Despite the saying that your metabolism slows as you age, a new study from the Journal of Obesity found that American adults gain the most weight earlier in life: in young adulthood, from their mid-20s to mid-30s .
Since young adults are typically considered more active and fit, many find this study’s results shocking. However, Dr Namra Butt, non-invasive cardiologist and lipidologist at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, shares that this trend is now becoming the norm.
“In general practice and my perspective, the younger and middle-aged population is the most vulnerable to gaining weight,” says Dr. Butt.
Here’s why: “In early adulthood, we see people lose control over their diet. The fast food industry has taken over. Young people have less time and therefore they want to get their hands on fast and tasty food. The other issue is expenses; it’s cheaper to buy a hamburger than a simple Caesar salad,” says dr. Butt.
When it comes to weight loss, women are also at a disadvantage compared to men.
“Hormones, pregnancy, stress, anxiety and motherhood are some of the reasons why women gain more weight than men,” shares Dr. Butt.
She explains that women are also designed to carry extra weight. Also, fat sits differently on women than men, as women’s hormones favor the deposition of fat in the hip and thigh region, which is difficult to lose.
Health inequalities also play a role in weight gain due to a variety of factors.
Is there a possibility that this weight can come off later in life? Dr. Butt shares that with motivation, exercise, and a healthy diet, as well as early recognition and guidance from health care providers, weight loss is possible.
“Some underlying health conditions and hormonal changes can also create weight gain,” says Dr Butt. “So it’s important to talk to a provider if you experience a dramatic weight gain.”
Obesity can cause numerous ailments and carries a high risk of serious diet-related diseases, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, and certain forms of cancer.
“Knowledge and awareness about the consequences of obesity in the population must be addressed,” says Dr Butt. “Obesity is reversible, but its consequences are not.”
Are you or a loved one trying to improve your health and fight obesity? Take a free online quiz to learn more about your healthy weight range.