Why Does the Average Person Gain Weight with Age Regardless of Diet and Level of Activity?


Have you ever wondered why as you get older you start to gain weight?

Many people have difficulty maintaining their weight with age and in many cases end up gaining weight to the point of becoming obese regardless of their diet and activity levels. New studies have shown why: the turnover of lipids in adipose tissue decreases with age which facilitates weight gain, even if you do not eat more or do less exercise than before.


Many people have difficulty maintaining their weight with age. Today, new studies of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have shown why this is so. The metabolism of fats in adipose tissue decreases with age and facilitates weight gain, even if we do not eat more or do less physical activity than we used to before.

Scientists have studied the fat cells of 54 men and women for an average of 13 years. Meanwhile, all subjects, whether they put on weight or not, showed a decrease in the conversion of lipids into adipose tissue, i.e. the rate of elimination and storage of lipids (or fats) in fat cells. Those who have not compensated by consuming fewer calories have achieved an average weight gain of 20%, according to a study conducted in collaboration with researchers from the University of Uppsala in Sweden and the University of Lyon in France.

The researchers also studied the fluidity of lipids in 41 women who underwent bariatric surgery and how the fluidity of lipids affects their ability to maintain their weight from four to seven years after the procedure. The result showed that only those who had a small percentage before surgery were able to increase lipid turnover and maintain weight loss. Researchers believe that these people had more opportunities to increase lipid turnover than those who already had a high rate already.

According to Peter Arner, professor of medicine at Hadding, Karolinska Institute research results show for the first time that the processes in our body fat regulate body weight changes as we get older regardless of other factors.

Preliminary studies have shown that one way to accelerate the circulation of lipids in adipose tissue is to exercise more intensively. This new study confirms this view and also indicates that the long-term results of weight loss surgery combined with increased physical activity could improve. Incidentally doing intensive exercise increases the release of HGH a hormone well known for its anti fat benefits. HGH is a hormone that drops with age and as such could this lack be the cause of this weight gain issue.

Obesity and related diseases have become a global problem, says Kirsty Spaulding, a senior researcher in the department of cellular and molecular biology at the Karolinska Institute and lead author of the study. Understanding the dynamics of lipids and what regulates the size of body fat in humans has never been more important.

The study was funded by grants from Stockholm County Council, the Swedish Research Council, the Karolinska Institute’s Strategic Diabetes Research Program, the Novo Nordisk Foundation, the Swedish Diabetes Fund, the Karolinska Astra Zeneca Institute, the Valley Foundation, the Erling Persson Family Foundation and IXXI and the Swedish Medical Society.


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