New study says menopausal women need better weight management
While weight management is important for anyone, a new study says it could be especially important for women on the brink of menopause. Women who are overweight, obese or sedentary in this life stage are at a higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome, the precursor to conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, says the study published in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
Researchers from Yonsei University in Seoul and Hallym University in Chuncheon, Korea looked at four years worth of data on 1,200 women aged 45 to 55 from the Korean Genetic Epidemiologic Survey. The women selected for the study were considered healthy and didn't use hormones.
Metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by excess body fat around the waist as well as high blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels, is common among menopausal women. To understand this relationship between menopause and metabolic syndrome, the researchers sifted through the data to find certain characteristics that might predispose women to it. They found that it wasn't the transition to menopause that caused metabolic syndrome, but rather being overweight, obese or sedentary in the time leading up to menopause.
More specifically, they found that overweight women were four times more likely, and obese women 12 times as likely, than normal-weight women to develop metabolic syndrome. Women who didn't exercise had a 1.6 times greater risk than physically active women. During the perimenopause phase, which is just before menopause, overweight women were three times more likely to have metabolic syndrome, while obese women had nine times the risk. Those numbers were about the same for postmenopausal women.
Despite its importance, maintaining weight is challenging for women at this age. JoAnn V. Pinkerton, the executive director of NAMS, explained that hormonal changes, aging, decreased muscle mass and life stressors contribute to this difficult.
"This study underscores how important it is to work hard to stave off weight gain as much as possible," she said.
Her suggestion to menopausal women is to exercise more and change their diets, adding that women at this age can't eat how they always have. Fortunately, there are simple changes women can make to their diets to improve their success with weight management. In a study by the Centre for Food Innovation at Sheffield Hallam University, researchers found how the consumption of a teaspoon of Seagreens seaweed at breakfast could reduce daily caloric intake by 179 calories, surpassing the 100 calorie-reduction known to prevent weight gain.
To add seaweed to your weight management plan, try Seagreens Food Capsules. Every Seagreens product contains all the minerals, micronutrients, trace elements and vitamins that can be found in all-natural, organic seaweed. Seagreens organic wild wrack seaweeds are produced to the company's award-winning proprietary standard (patents pending) among Scotland's remote Western Islands in pristine Grade A waters. All Seagreens products are organic, kosher and certified free from allergens and contaminants.