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Special benefits of weight loss for women after 50

Getting rid of flab not just lowers the risk of dementia but also of certain cancer

The Telegraph   |   Published 11.02.21, 12:10 AM

Losing excess weight is good at any age. But dropping a few kilos after 50 may be especially beneficial because of several reasons, especially for women:

1. Lower risk of dementia


Obesity at 50 was associated with an increased risk of dementia in a study published February 2018 in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia, though obesity at 60 or 70 was not.

2. Less hot flashes

Hot flashes, which occur as a side effect of menopause and are most common in women over 50, make women very uncomfortable. But they too can be caused by extra weight. Hormones like estrogen are stored in fat tissue. The more fat a woman carries, the more estrogen is there in her body and the more pronounced her menopausal symptoms can become.

3. Reduced osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common side effects of aging. It makes the cartilage that cushions and protects the bones wear down over time and causes the bones to rub together and joints to become swollen, stiff and painful. Carrying extra weight aggravates osteoarthritis and causes more pressure and pain on the joints.

4. Lower risk of certain cancers

Cancers that are hormone-dependent can show up in women over 50 due to weight gain since hormones like estrogen are stored in fat. Obesity in women has been linked to a higher risk of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. Women who lose weight, particularly after 50, dramatically reduce their risk of the disease.

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