Many factors can affect your weight, including your genes, age, gender, lifestyle, family habits, culture, sleep, and even where you live and work. Some of these factors can make it hard to maintain or achieve a healthy weight. Regardless, following a nutritious eating pattern and exercising regularly can help keep your body as healthy as possible as you age. Read on to learn why weight may change as you get older, why it’s important to aim for a healthy weight, and what you can do to help meet your goals.
Why does weight change as we age?
As we age, metabolism — how the body gets energy from food — can change. This means that some older adults must become more active or eat fewer calories to maintain or achieve their ideal weight.
Other older adults may lose weight unintentionally. This can happen if you have less of an appetite, difficulty leaving the house to buy food, pain when chewing or swallowing, or forget to eat.
Why should older adults maintain a healthy weight?
Keeping your weight in the normal range is an important part of healthy aging. As in other stages of life, elevated body mass index (BMI) in older adults can increase the likelihood of developing health problems. These include heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes. Losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight can help decrease these risks.
Being underweight also increases your chance of developing health problems. If you have a low BMI, you may be more likely to develop medical problems such as osteoporosis and anemia, and it may be harder to recover from an illness or infection.
To better understand how food, exercise and calories are connected, and what you should eat to lose or gain weight, from the National Institute on Aging, CLICK HERE.