Obesity rate findings show a disturbing trend for the over-50 crowd.
According to a new study presented by Tilda (The Irish Longitudinal Study on Aging) and Trinity College Dublin, four-in-five, or around 80 percent of people ages 50 and older are overweight to the point of qualifying as obese.
Just one-fifth of men and women in the age group are classed as having a normal waistline or an acceptable measurement of body fat to height and weight, Yahoo! UK reports.
The disturbing revelations highlight increased risks and burdens on health services throughout Europe, and according to researchers, those numbers are now on par with those here stateside, especially for men.
Earlier in the week, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health warned that “more than a quarter” of children in Ireland were obese or overweight, with Irish women more at risk from the connection between poverty and weight problems (as in 39 percent of women in the lowest wealth bracket were classified as obese compared to a quarter in the highest bracket).
More from the report:
Dr. Siobhan Leahy, Tilda research fellow, said the study found worryingly high levels of obesity and the impact this has on health and everyday activity.
“While this age group is already more likely to be affected by age-related illness, frailty and cardiovascular disease, these conditions are exacerbated by the presence of obesity and significantly higher levels of disease and disability are evident in obese individuals… Our study highlights the combined impact of the obesity crisis and a rapidly aging population on health and health service demand.”
According to the study’s methodology, experts measured both the waistlines of over-50s as well as the ratio of body fat to weight and height, or body mass index (BMI), the most common method of defining obesity.
This measurement was to determine excess fat with “normal” classed as below 80cm or 32 inches in women and below 94cm or 35 inches in men — “anything above 88cm or 35 inches in women and 102cm or 40 inches in men is classed as central obesity and more closely associated with cardiovascular problems,” Yahoo! UK added.
Tilda said BMI measurements showed 36 percent of Irish people in the over-50 group were obese and a further 43 percent were overweight, while waistline checks classified more than half as “centrally obese.”
It also said BMI reports found more obese men than women by a margin of 38 percent to 33 percent.
While this study focused primarily on Ireland, it did draw parallels to the obesity rate in the U.S., and past studies have shown that we have our own problems, particularly with childhood obesity.
Do you think the obesity rate is an epidemic throughout our world?
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