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Doctor told my wife to gain weight
Old 04-20-2020, 04:08 PM   #1
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Doctor told my wife to gain weight

My wife (60yrs old) went in for a checkup today. Very healthy, and always has been. She has lost between 10 and 15 lbs recently, deliberately. The doc suggested she shouldn't lose anymore, even said she should gain a few lbs. Her BMI right now is 24.8.

25.0 is considered overweight. I thought this curious.
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Old 04-20-2020, 04:12 PM   #2
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There is actually quite a bit of data to indicate that elderly people who are slightly overweight live longer than those of normal or underweight. Of course there are many variables, so you have to decide what to believe and what to act on.

Here is a typical study, and you can find many others:
Overweight Older People Live Longer
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Old 04-20-2020, 04:18 PM   #3
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I’ve seen information saying being slightly overweight as a senior can have positive health benefits. Maybe her doc read the same reports on the internet.
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Old 04-20-2020, 04:21 PM   #4
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Interesting. Did her doctor offer any explanation why?
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Old 04-20-2020, 04:22 PM   #5
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My wife (60yrs old) went in for a checkup today. Very healthy, and always has been. She has lost between 10 and 15 lbs recently, deliberately. The doc suggested she shouldn't lose anymore, even said she should gain a few lbs. Her BMI right now is 24.8.

25.0 is considered overweight. I thought this curious.
It depends on the person. When I was eating well and bicycling extensively for exercise in the past, the weight I bottomed out at had me at a BMI of 25.1. I have a somewhat large bone structure for my height. I really couldn't lose any more weight if I tried. In fact, some thought (as your wife's doctor thinks) that I should have weighed a bit more.

Well before reaching the low weight, my BP was 117/68, cholesterol level around 160, normal blood sugar and everything else they could test me for when my BMI was at 28, let alone 25. In my case, staying at or below a BMI of 28 is the goal. The closer to 25, the better.
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Old 04-20-2020, 04:45 PM   #6
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I also deliberately lost weight, much of it due to getting most meat and fish out of my diet and cutting back on refined sugars and white starches- white bread, potatoes, white rice- because my a1C is at the high end of normal. My BMI was hovering under 19 and one of the risk factors I read was that I was at heightened risk for osteoporosis. I had a bone scan done last year at age 66; spine in great shape but a little osteopenia (precursor) in the hips. It's only one data point but I'm taking calcium and magnesium. I've always exercised regularly. Medicare pays only one every 2 years so we'll see.

I've gained a few pounds and I'm now around 19.5. I hate that but I suppose it's better for me.
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Old 04-20-2020, 04:51 PM   #7
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When I was going through my recent pneumonia weight just melted off me and none of my Doctor's seemed concerned . Now that I am better I am trying to gain weight and it is not easy . In two months I have managed to gain just 8 pounds even with taking high calorie supplements . My BMI is19.It was 18 .
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Old 04-20-2020, 04:56 PM   #8
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Is the doctor overweight? What constitutes normal weight in this country would be considered overweight in much of the world. Most doctors are overweight just like the rest of the population. And they certainly don't know any more about nutrition than average laymen.
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Old 04-20-2020, 04:58 PM   #9
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Interesting. Did her doctor offer any explanation why?

Ya, doc said, if she got sick, that the extra weight would be helpful.
I can't argue against that, she only weighs 103lbs, so if she did get sick and lost 20lbs, she would be in bad shape.
103 lbs and BMI of 24.8, she's what you might call petite or maybe just short.


I recently lost 19 lbs and my BMI is 23.2. My doc said, "there is research that people on a a calorie restricted diet live longer." But I guess that's only if you don't get sick.
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Old 04-20-2020, 05:05 PM   #10
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I was told by a prior PCP she wanted her seniors to be a little overweight. Perhaps the same study. My BMI has been just below 26 and my new PCP has been happy. I'm eating better now as my last 2 lipid panels stunk consequently I'm losing weight. I'll have gone to 24.2 at my current rate of loss in 6 weeks. I've been tracking my macros in MFP and I find at the end of the day having several hundred calories left and no desire to eat.
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Old 04-20-2020, 05:22 PM   #11
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Sweet! Being overweight is good for my health? Yippee. I’ve been wanting to hit the ice cream harder. And let’s not even talk about bacon!
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Old 04-20-2020, 05:23 PM   #12
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All I know is you never see pudgy 105 year old!
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Old 04-20-2020, 05:31 PM   #13
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I will be 63 next month. My BMI is 19.5 and none of my doctors have ever suggested I gain weight (I'm 5'3" and 110.) If they did, I wouldn't follow their advice. I hike, backpack and play tennis, I can move better if I'm thin. I'd actually like to drop about 5 pounds.
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Old 04-20-2020, 05:40 PM   #14
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My late father was 6'5" and 180# and diagnosed with leukemia, AML. After 3 years of a good fight, he was in remission, and the doctors considered him one of their great successes. Three weeks later, he was fighting for his life and lost 30#. He had to have a feeding tube inserted, but the doctors wanted it pulled, so his body could fight the leukemia 100% instead of spending some energy digesting his tubal food. He looked like he was from Auschwitz, and mom thought the nourishment would help in his fight. He succumbed two weeks later. Would it have helped if he was heavier? I don't know for sure, but I personally thought it would.
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Old 04-20-2020, 05:42 PM   #15
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If your wife is 103lbs, she must be quite short to have a BMI of almost 25.
BMI isn't the be all and end all it used to be anyway, as it doesn't take muscle and other factors properly into account.
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Old 04-20-2020, 06:56 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Time2 View Post
My wife (60yrs old) went in for a checkup today. Very healthy, and always has been. She has lost between 10 and 15 lbs recently, deliberately. The doc suggested she shouldn't lose anymore, even said she should gain a few lbs. Her BMI right now is 24.8.

25.0 is considered overweight. I thought this curious.
Tell her to find a competent doctor. Her blood pressure and blood test results are a better indicator of her health than the advice of a doctor who wants her to gain weight. My wife is 5'7", very fit, a 23 BMI and the doctor told her to keep up the good work.
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Old 04-20-2020, 07:50 PM   #17
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My BMI usually runs between 20.5 and 21, and nobody has said I needed to gain weight. When I was slightly heavier, maybe BMI 22, my BP was starting to go up, even though I was hardly overweight. I cut out junk food and all but a little salt, lost about 6 pounds (not on purpose) and my BP improved.

But now I have osteopenia...there's no way to get everything right. One starts to wear out.
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Old 04-20-2020, 08:03 PM   #18
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Did she ever ask the doctor: "Why?"

I must be a nightmare for my physicians because I am always asking for explanations of anything that I don't understand and/or don't necessarily agree with. And I do the same thing with my wife's physicians when I can such as when she is groggy from a procedure and I know she won't remember a thing.
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Old 04-20-2020, 09:16 PM   #19
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When I lived in Vegas my PCP was a recent medical school grad. I was in the process of losing some weight and her feedback to me was to keep my BMI around 24.

She quoted a meta study that showed being a bit heavier as you age increases longevity. I never looked the study up, just took her at her word.
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Old 04-20-2020, 09:48 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Time2 View Post
My wife (60yrs old) went in for a checkup today. Very healthy, and always has been. She has lost between 10 and 15 lbs recently, deliberately. The doc suggested she shouldn't lose anymore, even said she should gain a few lbs. Her BMI right now is 24.8.

25.0 is considered overweight. I thought this curious.
Everything I have read is that 19-24 is normal.

If she needs a few more pounds I think my DW is willing to contribute a few to her. Let me know.
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