Healthy Weight, Better Mobility

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One more reason it pays to maintain a healthy weight: Packing on too many pounds early in life can put you at risk for disability later on.

Researchers who studied more than 2,800 men and women in their 70s discovered that women who were overweight or obese in their 20s, 50s, and 70s had nearly three times the risk of developing mobility problems as those who maintained a normal weight all along.

Men had a 1.6 times greater risk. Making a change early on pays, too.

According to the research*, those who were overweight in their 20s or 50s but not in their 70s still had an increased risk for disability—but the less time they were overweight, the lower their risk was.

*Source: American Journal of Epidemiology, April 15, 2009