Women who live to be 90 or even 100 years old experience what is called “exceptional longevity.” A study from the University of San Diego (United States) discovered a factor common to all these women: maintaining a stable body weight over the decades.
For this study, scientists studied health data from more than 54,000 women participating in the Women’s Health Initiativea long-term study that began in the 1990s. Researchers looked at their weight at the start of the program, during years 3 and 10 of the program, and then looked at their health in February 2022.
Twice as likely to be a centenarian
They found that women whose weight had remained stable over the decades were 1.2 to 2 times more likely to survive at least until age 90 (and even beyond) than women who had lost weight.
Women who lost 5% or more of their body weight during the first 3 years of follow-up were 33% less likely to live to age 90, 35% less likely to live to age 95, and 38% less likely to live to age 95. less likely to live to be 100 years old.
Scientists intend to continue their research to understand the health effects of weight loss in old age. But in the meantime, they emphasize that it “Recommendations for weight loss in older women are unlikely to lead to improved survival into old age.”
6 other tips for living a century old
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) studied the conclusions of 25 studies carried out in Australia, Europe and North America on more than 606,000 volunteers, they managed to isolate certain behaviors beneficial for hope of life.
- Do 30 minutes of sporting activity per day. A few ten-minute walks are enough if you are not a big sporty person.
- Sleep 7 to 8 hours per night. Lack of sleep in an adult or child increases the risk of heart disease, cancer and various pathologies.
- Eat fruits and vegetables. A healthy diet consisting of five fruits or vegetables a day is essential to stay healthy.
- NO SMOKING. Unsurprisingly, to live a long and healthy life, cigarettes should be absolutely avoided: smoking a pack per day (i.e. around 20 cigarettes) would reduce life expectancy by 7 years on average. Good news nonetheless for smokers: saying “goodbye” to tobacco would allow us to gradually regain lost years…
- Control your weight and avoid excesses. Chronic illnesses (diabetes, cholesterol, cardiovascular disorders, excess weight, etc.) would drastically reduce life expectancy. In addition, each point of BMI above normal (above 25, therefore) would reduce life expectancy by approximately 7 months. On the other side of the scale, a weight loss of one kilo would be enough to gain 2 months of life – and this is of course cumulative.
- Have completed post-baccalaureate studies. Education would also play a role: in fact, according to Scottish researchers, each year of higher education (after the baccalaureate) would increase life expectancy by 11 months.