Obesity affects the ability to work especially in women over 50

31 May 2021

Obesity affects the ability to work especially in women over 50

Hi all - this is an interesting but scary finding from a very simple study.  It highlights the vulnerability of women who are obese and in the older age bracket as far as being able to maintain a fulltime job.  The suggestion follows that an older lady's ability to maintain her independence - whether that be physically or financially - is directly dependent on having a healthy BMI as she ages.  Whilst the conclusion that workplaces should focus on their employee's health and fitness is logical, it is also unlikely to have as much of an impact as would be necessary to change outcomes.  Women in their 50's and 60's have usually put every effort into losing weight with conventional, non-surgical means during their lifetime.  If they haven't achieved longterm success in getting to a healthy BMI then this study presents another reason why thinking about Bariatric surgery may be beneficial from a financial perspective for women in their 50's and 60's.  Something to ponder ladies!

Nice chatting.

Steph Ulmer  

For men, there was a slightly increased risk of prolonged sickness absence amongst those with obesity but no evidence of an association between above-average BMI and health-related job loss

Older workers with obesity are at a higher risk of prolonged sickness absence or losing their jobs for health reasons than those of normal weight, with women affected significantly more than men, according to researchers from the University of Southampton. The study studied investigated the association between BMI and prolonged sickness absence, cutting down at work and health-related job loss among 2,299 men and 2,425 women aged between 50 and 64 years.

Obesity is a major and growing public health problem, with future projections estimating that there will be more than one billion people affected globally by 2030. Being obese or overweight is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases including diabetes; cardiovascular diseases; musculoskeletal disorders and common mental health conditions. Although obesity is becoming more prevalent in children and adolescents, the highest prevalence is seen amongst men and women in their fifties, sixties and seventies.

The participants in the study reported their height and weight at the start of the study then provided information about their ability to work after 12 and 24 months as part of Medical Research Council's Health and Employment after Fifty (HEAF) Study.

The University of Southampton team analysed the data from this study and publishing their findings, ‘Body Mass Index (BMI) and Work Ability in Older Workers: Results from the Health and Employment after Fifty (HEAF) Prospective Cohort Study’, in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The research has shown that the women with obesity or severe obesity had greater odds of prolonged sickness absence compared with women of normal weight. Those with severe obesity were also the most likely to cut down, avoid, or change what they did at work because of a health problems, and were almost three times as likely to lose their job because of their health.

Amongst the men taking part in the survey, there was a slightly increased risk of prolonged sickness absence amongst those with obesity but no evidence of an association between above-average BMI and health-related job loss.

"Our study demonstrates the link between obesity and health problems that affect people's ability to work, particularly in older female workers,” said Professor Karen Walker-Bone Director of the MRC Versus Arthritis Centre for Musculoskeletal Health and Work at the University of Southampton, who led the study. “As a result, the burden of obesity in an aging population can be expected to hinder attempts to encourage work to older ages. These results should give employers an incentive to introduce measures that can help their employees maintain a healthy weight."

Bariatric surgery can significantly reduce obesity-related cancer risk

3 May 2021

Bariatric surgery can significantly reduce obesity-related cancer risk

Wow - what a breakthrough finding!  This is a fact that is being more completely uncovered as these types of studies start publishing their results.  It was known that the incidence of certain 'obesity-related cancers' were decreased in individuals undergoing bariatric surgery but the reasons why on a cellular level were unknown.  This study concurs with what was already known but has identified a reduction in all cancers incidence in those who underwent Bariatric Surgery.  There must be a reason for this relationship but the actual causative factor will be difficult to pinpoint.  More laboratory research is likely to help with putting more pieces of the puzzle together.  Here we have another benefit related to the effects of weight loss surgery!  If you are keen to discuss this, or other things regarding weight loss surgery, please don't hesitate to make contact.

Have a good day. 




Bariatric surgery can significantly reduce the risk of cancer - especially obesity-related cancers - by as much as half in certain individuals, according to a study by researchers at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School's Center for Liver Diseases and Liver Masses.

The research, ‘Bariatric Surgery Reduces Cancer Risk in Adults with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Severe Obesity’, published in the journal Gastroenterology, is the first to show bariatric surgery significantly decreases the risk of cancer in individuals with severe obesity and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The risk reduction is even more pronounced in individuals with NAFLD-cirrhosis, the researchers said. 

"We knew that obesity leads to certain problems, including cancer, but no one had ever looked at it the other way around, whether weight loss actually reduced the risk of those cancers," explained study author, Dr Vinod K Rustgi, professor of medicine, clinical director of hepatology and Director of the Center for Liver Diseases and Liver Masses, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. "Our study showed that all cancers were decreased, but obesity-related cancers in particular were decreased even more. Specifically, it showed a reduction in risk for all types of cancer by 18 percent, with the risk for obesity-related cancers being reduced by 25 percent. When comparing cirrhotic versus non-cirrhotic patients, cancer risk was reduced by 38 percent and 52 percent, respectively."

The retrospective study looked at de-identified claims data of more than 98,000 privately insured individuals age 18 to 64 years old who were diagnosed with severe obesity and NAFLD between 2007 and 2017. Of those, 33,435 (34.1%) received bariatric surgery. In those without surgery,1,898 incident cases of cancer occurred over 115,890.11 person-years of follow-up, compared with 925 cancer cases over 67,389.82 person-years among surgery patients (crude rate ratio 0.84; 95% CI: 0.77 to 0.91).

The inverse-probability-of-treatment-weighted-adjusted risk of any cancer and obesity related cancer was reduced by 18% and 25%, respectively, in patients with versus without bariatric surgery. The adjusted risks of any cancer and obesity-related cancer were significantly lower in cirrhotic versus non-cirrhotic patients who underwent surgery. In cancer[1]specific models, bariatric surgery was associated with significant risk reductions for colorectal, pancreatic, endometrial, thyroid cancers, hepatocellular carcinoma, and multiple myeloma.

In addition to an overall reduction in cancer risk for these individuals, researchers found that bariatric surgery was associated with significant risk reductions in these individuals for the following obesity-related cancers: colorectal, pancreatic, endometrial and thyroid cancers, as well as hepatocellular carcinoma and multiple myeloma.

"Understanding the connection between NAFLD and cancer may identify new targets and treatments, such as antidiabetic-, satiety-, or GLP-1-based medications, for chemoprevention in NAFLD/NASH. Though bariatric surgery is a more aggressive approach than lifestyle modifications, surgery may provide additional benefits, such as improved quality of life and decreased long-term healthcare costs," the researchers indicate.

The next step for Center researchers is to explore whether this reduced cancer risk holds true for individuals with severe obesity who do not have NAFLD. They are also planning to study the mechanism by which this reduced risk occurs and whether factors such as hormonal changes induced by weight loss are the cause of reduced cancer risk, rather than just the weight loss itself,. In addition, Center researchers currently are studying the impact of bariatric surgery on cardiovascular outcomes, such as a decrease in heart attacks, or a decrease in strokes.

Association of bariatric surgery with skin cancer incidence in adults with obesity: A nonrandomized controlled trial

6 October 2020

Association of bariatric surgery with skin cancer incidence in adults with obesity: A nonrandomized controlled trial

Hi All,

So this is an effect of Weight Loss surgery that I definitely wouldn't have predicted.  Why would losing weight make your skin cells less likely to mutate due to the effects of the sun??  I would have thought BMI would be unrelated to risk of developing skin cancer.  There will be a logical reason but one that I couldn't even imagine at the moment.  Aside from that we can add 'decreased risk of skin cancer' to the already long list of benefits of Bariatric surgery! 

Love to hear from you if you are considering life changing surgery that makes you live longer and - less likely to get melanoma..!




In this nonrandomized controlled trial of 4,047 individuals in the Swedish Obese Subjects study, experts examined the relationship of bariatric surgery with skin cancer (squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma) and melanoma incidence. Individuals in the surgery group underwent gastric bypass (n = 266), banding (n = 376), or vertical banded gastroplasty (n = 1,365) and the control group (n = 2,040) got the customary treatment for obesity at their primary healthcare centers. Information on cancer events was accessible for 4,042 individuals. Bariatric surgery was related to a significantly decreased risk of melanoma and the risk of skin cancer in general. The skin cancer risk decrease was not related to baseline BMI or weight, levels of insulin, glucose, lipid, and creatinine, diabetes, blood pressure, alcohol consumption, or smoking. Hence, the outcomes of this study imply that in people with obesity, bariatric surgery is related to a decreased risk of skin cancer, including melanoma.

Read more here


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