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New Study Shows Weight Loss in Young Adults with Obesity May Lower Mortality Risk by up to 50%

By Dr. Tina Thomas | November 11, 2020


Losing weight in early adulthood, between ages 25 and 40, may help you live longer according to recent research out of Boston University’s School of Public Health. The study looked at whether losing weight after a history of obesity in early adulthood could show a reduction in mortality risk later in life. 


The researchers analyzed data from more than 24,000 individuals who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Lead investigators recorded the weight of participants between the ages of 40 and 74, asked what their weight was 10 years earlier, and what their weight was at age 25. The researchers found that moving from a BMI in the obese category (BMI of 30-34.9) in young adulthood, to one in the overweight category later in life (BMI of 25-29.9), showed a 54% reduction in mortality risk compared to maintaining an obese  BMI over the same period of time. 

Achieving  a healthy weight can also reduce the severity and prevalence of obesity-related diseases like type 2 diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnea. The results from this study shows how positive changes to our health can possibly change our lives. 

Small changes can make a big difference.  At New Jersey Bariatric Center, we understand that losing weight and keeping it off, is not as simple as balancing calories. We understand that obesity is a disease, and certain factors, like your body’s set point, can prevent you from losing weight. The first step to your weight loss journey is contacting us to discuss your weight loss options. Whether it’s through weight loss surgery like gastric sleeve or gastric bypass, medical weight loss or nutritional counseling, getting to a healthy weight should be an important and empowering journey for everyone. 


Xie W, Lundberg DJ, Collins JM, et al. Association of Weight Loss Between Early Adulthood and Midlife With All-Cause Mortality Risk in the US. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(8):e2013448. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.13448


Dr. Thomas is board certified in general surgery and surgical critical care, with specialty training in advanced minimally invasive general and bariatric surgery. Dr. Thomas elected to attend medical school in India and graduated with distinction. She completed her general surgery residency at the University of Connecticut, where she received awards for resident excellence and leadership by example. Dr. Thomas has completed two fellowships, in surgical critical care and advanced minimally invasive and bariatric surgery, from the University of Michigan and Hackensack University Medical Center respectively.
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