Good News! Elderly Who Gain a Little Weight Live Longer

Finally!  It's okay to gain a few pounds.  In fact, it's even recommended!

For older folks, that is.  A new study has found that some overweight older adults don’t need to lose weight to extend their lives, but they could risk an earlier death if they pack on more pounds. So it's not all good. But as I've observed with both my parents, my dad who's always been overweight, and my mother, who was not, each began losing a lot of weight in their 80s.

My mother even became thinner than I ever remembered her.  The same thing happened with my grandmother, always a round little thing.  In her 80s, right before she died, she was down to skin and bones.

Is it because elderly people don't care about eating anymore?  Or, as in my grandmother's taste, they lose their sense of taste and smell?  It's not clear.

But the nationwide study found that people who were slightly overweight in their 50s "but kept their weight relatively stable were the most likely to survive over the next 16 years," according to

They had better survival rates than even normal-weight individuals whose weight increased slightly, but stayed within the normal range.

But those who started out as very obese in their 50s and whose weight continued to increase, were the most likely to die during that period, reports.

About 7.2 percent of deaths after the age of 51 seem to be due to weight gain among obese people, at least among the generation in this study.

So I guess a little weight is good, a lot of weight, not.


  1. What age group is considered older or elderly? I work with people half my age, so I sometimes feel parental --- older --- elderly, though I'm probably better fit than most of my coworkers. Some days I go out for lunch, and I don't care about "eating right" and the pounds be damned. Today I had pizza, and yesterday I made a BK drive-by. I love a burger, fries and Heineken, but settled for a Coke (because I was driving). At age 57 and 10 months, at 188 lbs, how'm I doin'?


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