Review on March 19, 2009
Although it's commonly understood that a healthy lifestyle and diet will help to maintain a healthy body and reduce weight gain, new studies have emerged that create a new emphasis on these lifestyle change during menopause. During this time a high percentage of women experiences increased weight gain.
A recent study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh, covering weight gain during menopause, took a sample of 535 women and split them between two groups. One had the ".introduction of our low-fat, reduced-calorie meal plan; daily self-monitoring of diet and activity; and instruction in gradually increasing physical activity," while the others carried on with their normal routines. The women in this study were aged between 44 and 50 years old and had a BMI which ranged from 20 to 34.
Laurey Simkin-Silverman, leader of the research team, is keen to make the connection between weight gain and the development of coronary heart disease in women who experience weight gain during perimenopause and menopause. The research found that the women on the controlled diet and exercise plan maintained a healthy weight over four years. The women in the uncontrolled group, on the other hand, found that they steadily gained weight at an average of one pound a year. This is typical for women going through menopause.
Because weight gain is also linked to high estrogen levels and the worsening of other menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and fatigue, it's becoming increasingly important for women to keep weight gain under control as they enter menopause.
- A Randomized Clinical Trial of Weight Gain Prevention During Menopause, Laurey R. Simkin-Silverman, PhD, University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, PA