HealthDay News – Obesity at age 25 years is associated with increased probability of subsequent severe obesity, with current body weight the best indicator of cardiovascular and metabolic risk, according to new research published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

“The trend toward increasing lifelong obesity in recent cohorts has been projected to decrease life expectancy and increase disability rates in the U.S.,” wrote Jennifer B. Dowd, PhD and colleagues.

Utilizing data from 1999 to 2010 from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Exam Survey, Jennifer B. Dowd, PhD and researchers examined whether body mass index at 25-years of age predicts later adult BMI.

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The estimated probability of Class III obesity after age 35 years was 23.1% for male patients who were obese at age 25 years compared with 1.1% of normal-weight male peers. The probabilities were 46.9% and 4.8%, respectively.

Compared with 25-year-old patients of normal weight, patients who were obese in both periods had higher odds of elevated blood pressure, c-reactive protein, and glycated hemoglobin, with no effect for lipids. These associations were eliminated (for BP and CRP) and greatly attenuated (for HbA1c) after adjustment for current BMI.

“The biological risks of long-term obesity are primarily due to the risk of more severe obesity later in life among those obese early in life, rather than obesity duration,” wrote the researchers. “Overweight and obese young adults who can prevent additional weight gain can expect their biological risk factors to be no worse than those who reach the same level of BMI later in life.”


  1. Dowd J et al. American Journal of Preventative Medicine. 2014; doi: