After the coronavirus pandemic, people in general started taking their health seriously, but despite all efforts, obesity turned out to be one of the biggest underlying causes of potential health conditions. Now, a new study reports that young adults in the 18-24 age group are more likely to gain weight or become obese in the next decade of their lives than adults in any other age group.
The study led by researchers at UCL (University College London), University of Cambridge and Berlin Institute of Health at Charite-Universitatsmedizin Berlin, and published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, found that being young is a more significant risk factor for overweight of gender, race, geographic area, or socioeconomic characteristics of the area. The risk of gaining weight is not only highest in the younger age group of adults but steadily decreases with age.
Researchers looked at anonymized primary care health records of more than 2 million adults (with over 9 million BMI and weight measurements) in England between 1998 and 2016 to investigate the risks of weight changes at different ages and between different groups. They found that people aged 18 to 24 were four times more likely to be overweight or obese over the next 10 years than those aged 65 to 74. From the category of overweight to obesity or from non-severe obesity to severe obesity) from those classified as overweight or obese in any other age group.
The authors provide the public with an online tool to calculate their risk of weight change over 1, 5, and 10 years based on an individual’s current weight and height, age, gender, race, and socioeconomic region characteristics.
Speaking about the online tool, co-senior author Professor Harry Hemingway (UCL Institute for Health Informatics and BIH Fellow) said: “Calculating personal risks of moving into a higher weight class is important as the Covid-19 epidemic collides with the obesity epidemic. More difficulty eating healthy meals during lockdowns.”
Lead author Dr. Michael Katsoulis (UCL Institute for Health Informatics) said: “Our results clearly show that age is the most important sociodemographic factor for BMI change. Young adults aged 18-24 are more likely to have an increased BMI, compared to older adults. We also found that among obese individuals, those aged 35-54 were at greater risk of weight loss than other adults.”
Dr Claudia Langenberg, Senior Research Associate (MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge, and Berlin Institute of Health): “Young people are going through major life changes. They may start working, go to university or leave home for the first time – the habits they form in these The years may continue into adulthood. If we are serious about preventing obesity, we need to develop interventions that can be targeted and relevant to young people.”
In the study, the risk of moving to a higher BMI category over 10 years was 4-6 times higher in the younger age group (18-24 years) than in the older age group (65-74 years). 18-24 year olds were 4.2 times more likely than 65-74 year olds to go from normal weight to overweight/obese, 4.6 times more likely to go from overweight to obese and 5.9 times more likely to go from overweight to obese Times more likely to go from blunt. Obesity to morbid obesity. The link between sociodemographic factors such as deprivation and ethnicity and these shifts was less clear. For example, the risk of going from overweight to obese over 10 years for white men with a BMI of 26 (weight 87 kg, height 1.82 m) varies greatly according to age: the risks are 40, 25, 22, 18, 13 and 10 percent for individuals aged 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, and 65-74, respectively.
The researchers were surprised to see a small additional effect of social deprivation on the risk of being overweight. In the example above, the risk of the youngest men living in the most deprived areas was 44 percent compared to 40 percent in the average areas. The study used data from 400 primary care centers. Participants ranged in age from 18 to 74 and had their weight and BMI measured in their general practice on more than one occasion between 1998 and 2016. The researchers looked at changes in BMI after one year, five years, and 10 years, calculating the probability of moving between weight categories (underweight, normal weight, overweight, obesity) at different ages and in different groups.
Professor Hemingway said: “Health systems, like the NHS, need to identify new ways to prevent obesity and its consequences. This study shows that NHS data collected over time in primary care holds an important key to unlocking new insights into how public health works.”