nutrition workplace wellness

Weight Gain Now Increases ‘Major’ Health Risks Later: Report

A strong focus on proper nutrition is a key part of any well-run workplace wellness program.

Clearly, proper diet habits help employees stay fit and healthy. These learnings can also be leveraged as ways to help influence the wellness culture within a business.

Indeed, we’ve previously written that “The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) reports: “Employees who participate in a workplace weight management program—even those without significant weight loss—have reduced health care costs and improved quality of life (QOL), reports a study in the November Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).”

It turns out, they also may help employees and members avoid major health risks later in life.

MedPage Today reports that “Gaining a small amount of weight each year during early and middle adulthood can add up to major health risks later in life, a large cohort study found.”

The study, published in JAMA, is titled “Associations of Weight Gain From Early to Middle Adulthood With Major Health Outcomes Later in Life.” The authors sought to answer: ”What is the association of weight gain from early to middle adulthood with health outcomes later in life?”

According to MedPage: “A gain of as little as 11 lbs during that time was associated with significantly increased risk for major chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Weight gain during adulthood was also associated with increased mortality risk.”

“The investigators found that, compared with maintaining a stable weight, each 5 kg (11 lbs) of weight gain during early and middle adulthood was linked with increases in risk for the following:

  • Type 2 diabetes: 31%
  • Hypertension: 14%
  • Cardiovascular disease: 8%
  • Obesity-related cancer: 6%
  • Mortality: 5%

The researchers’ conclusion is clear: “In these cohorts of health professionals, weight gain during adulthood was associated with significantly increased risk of major chronic diseases and decreased odds of healthy aging. These findings may help counsel patients regarding the risks of weight gain.”

Said Frank Hu, MD, PhD, of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: “Our study is the first of its kind to systematically examine the association of weight gain from early to middle adulthood with major health risks later in life. The findings indicate that even a modest amount of weight gain may have important health consequences.”