People gain weight as they grow older - Why?

Obese elderly people.

That many people gain weight as they grow older has been a medical issue for a long time and the researchers have difficulty   in coming up with a reasonable answer. It is true many elderly people struggle hard to keep their weight in control. Now, medical research has solved the mystery.  What has made them gain weight when they cross middle age? The culprit is  lipid and when its  turnover in the fat tissue decreases  as part of  ageing,  weight gain occurs. People tend to put on weight no matter whether  they are on diet and do more or exercise less than before.  
Now new research at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden has come up with the relevant  answer for the weight gain among elders. The decline of  lipid turnover in the fat tissue  during ageing triggers weight gain. Neither exercise nor diet will retard the weight gain. The study is published in the journal Nature Medicine.
Obese elderly people.
The scientists  chose 
54 men and women  and  studied the fat cells in them over an average period of 13 years. In that period  all people no matter whether they gained or lost weight, showed slowing down  in lipid turnover in the fat tissue; this is the rate at which lipid (or fat) in the fat cells is removed and stored.  Compensation of this is a must and those who failed to  compensate for the gain  by eating less calories  put on  weight on  an average of 20 percent, the research  study points out. This research was   done in collaboration with researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden and University of Lyon in France.

The researchers also covered women 41   and examined  their lipid turnover; these women underwent bariatric surgery. They studied how the lipid turnover rate affected their ability to keep the weight off four to seven years after surgery. The result  revealed that only those who had a low rate before the surgery  some how managed to increase their lipid turnover and maintain their weight loss. The researchers  are of the opinion that  these people might have  had more room to increase their lipid turnover than those who already had a high-level  before surgery.

"The results indicate for the first time that processes in our fat tissue regulate changes in body weight during ageing in a way that is independent of other factors," according to  Peter Arner, professor at the Department of Medicine in Huddinge at Karolinska Institute  and one of the main authors in this study on age related weight gain. "This could open up new ways to treat obesity."
Early researchers  pointed out that   more physical exercise is an important step to speed up the lipid turnover in the fat tissue. This important research  throws light on  the long-term result of weight-loss surgery  and how it could be improved if combined with increased physical activity.

All over the world "Obesity''  is a major problem and the  obesity-related diseases have gone up due to many factors, one being due to sedentary life and the other one is caused by fatty, Carbohydrate rich fast food. According to Kirsty Spalding, senior researcher at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at Karolinska Institute and another  co researcher in this study,  ''Obesity is a global problem and "understanding lipid dynamics and what regulates the size of the fat mass in humans has never been more relevant." A strange fact is it is estimated that the number of people suffering from obesity and overweight is significantly higher than the number of people who are underweight. Ageing  is a reality of life and no body can escape from it. As people get older, they become more at risk of developing complications like  cardiac  problems, diabetes, osteoporosis, respiratory diseases than the average middle aged adult. These are common health issues that the average elderly persons  need  to face as they continue to get older. Adding weight just due to ageing is an added problem for the senior citizens, particularly women. This medical issue needs further scrutiny.

The Stockholm County Council, the Swedish Research Council, the Strategic Research Program for Diabetes at Karolinska Institutet, the Novo Nordisk Foundation, the Swedish Diabetes Foundation, Karolinska Institutet-Astra Zeneca Integrated Cardiometabolic Center, the Vallee Foundation, the Swedish Society of Medicine, the Erling-Persson Family foundation and IXXI gave grants for this significant research.
Story Source and Journal Ref:  
P. Arner, S. Bernard, L. Appelsved, K.-Y. Fu, D. P. Andersson, M. Salehpour, A. Thorell, M. Rydén, K. L. Spalding. Adipose lipid turnover and long-term changes in body weight. Nature Medicine, 2019; 25 (9): 1385 DOI: 10.1038/s41591-019-0565-5
Karolinska Institutet. "Why people gain weight as they get older." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 September 2019. <>.