New research suggests that older adults who purposefully lose weight have a lower mortality rate. Wake Forest University researchers looked at data on 318 elderly adults enrolled in weight-loss-related trials in the 1990s. Half of those individuals actively lost weight through exercise programs, losing an average of 10.5 pounds over 18 months. The other half lost 3.1 pounds during that time naturally. After eight years, researchers noted that there was half the number of deaths in the active weight-loss group than in the natural weight-loss group. That suggests that intentional weight-loss does not increase the risk of mortality among the elderly. There was even a reduction in mortality for the oldest of the participants. The research appears online in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.
I am not sure how the study defined “natural” weight loss. I would assume it was a test group that was not really actively engaged in trying to lose weight, say through a dedicated diet or workout plan. They just happened to lose weight during the study.
My takeaway – we already know that diet and exercise can help us lose weight and that has medical implications. Would seem a no-brainer that it helps us to live longer too. Perhaps this study was trying to determine if there was actual harm to deliberate weight loss. Not sure. So make a plan and be rigorous in your fitness regimen.