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Women aged 40 to 60 should ALL be given weight loss counselling, Federal-funded health group says

Women ages 40 to 60 should ALL get counseling to lose weight because they gain an average of 1.5 pounds a year and 43% of them are overweight, says the federally funded women’s health group

  • Middle-aged women are most likely to be obese, gaining about 1.5 pounds a year
  • Recommendation said they should get counseling to maintain a healthy weight or limit weight gain
  • It was from the Women’s Preventive Services Initiative, launched in 2016 to ‘review and update’ advice on women’s health
  • Some experts said it would help people make ‘positive’ food choices
  • But another warned it could lead to ‘weight stigma’ later in life

All women ages 40 to 60 should receive weight loss advice, according to a federally funded women’s health group.

This is because among women, those middle-aged are most likely to be obese, gaining an average of about 1.5 pounds a year, the doctors added.

The recommendation comes from the Women’s Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI), which said women should receive counseling to maintain a healthy weight or limit weight gain. It was launched in 2016 to ‘review and update’ advice on women’s health.

Some experts responded positively to the advice, saying it would encourage patients to watch their weight and influence “positive” meal choices.

But one expert went along, warning it would lead to “weight stigma” and ignore the underlying causes of obesity, including living in poorer areas and a lack of access to healthy food.

A federally funded women’s health group has recommended that all women ages 40 to 60 receive weight loss counseling to prevent obesity (file photo)

Data showed that about 43 percent of women in their 40s and 60s — or two in five — are overweight or obese.

But among men in the same age group, it’s slightly higher at 46 percent, although similar guidance doesn’t seem to exist for them.

Obesity is one of the greatest threats to health in modern times, putting people at risk for a host of complications, including diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.


Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on your weight in relation to your height.

Standard formula:

  • BMI = (weight in pounds / (height in inches x height in inches)) x 703

Metric formula:

  • BMI = (weight in kilograms / (height in meters x height in meters))


  • Under 18.5: underweight
  • 18.5 – 24.9: Healthy
  • 25 – 29.9: overweight
  • 30 – 39.9: obese
  • 40+: Morbid obesity

The WSPI warned that middle-aged women were more vulnerable to obesity because they were going through lifestyle changes related to menopause.

This leads to a drop in estrogen levels, which can lead to an increase in fat mass. Aging can also cause the metabolism to slow down, among other things.

They said advice to “maintain” or “limit” weight gain should be given in counseling sessions.

The guideline — published in the Annals of Internal Medicine – was led by Dr. David Chelmow, an obstetrician expert at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. Most of the authors behind the report were women.

The WPSI is supported by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a division of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

dr. Kate White, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Boston University, criticized the guidelines, saying it could come across as “insensitive.”

She said UPIA: ‘To come in and say, “You need to lose weight on top [difficult circumstances] is, intentionally or not, blind to how people live and how difficult it is to lose weight and keep it off.

“You can’t minimize the risk that increasing weight with all patients will progress into weight stigma, which the evidence has shown has real implications for people’s health.”

She added that the recommendation was also to “put aside the things that matter most” about why weight gain happens.

This includes lack of access to healthy food, little time to exercise and challenges associated with living in underserved communities.

In their recommendation, they said: “The WPSI recommends that women aged 40 to 60 with a normal or overweight BMI (18.5 to 29.9 kg per square meter) be advised to maintain or gain weight. to prevent obesity and its associated health problems.

“Counselling may include an individualized discussion of healthy eating and physical activity.”

It is already recommended for obese women to get counseling to reduce their weight.