Causes for the higher percentage of body fat with advancing age

Increasing levels of total and central body fat with advancing age contributes to the development of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. According to the findings of Dr. Poehlman at the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Centre in Maryland, increase in waist circumference with age was greater in women than in men, and was most strongly associated with declines in VO2 and leisure-time physical activity. Control for these variables reduced the age-related increase in waist circumference from 4 to 1 percent per decade in women. Their findings suggest that:

  • Age-related increase in fat mass and waist circumference is greater in women than in men.
  • Changes in physiology with age reflect a decline in physical activity related energy expenditure- an important predictor of total and central body fat.
  • Most important, the team concludes that lifestyle changes which increase the levels of physical activity may be advantageous in retarding age-related increases in fat.

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