Obesity has been linked to health conditions ranging from high blood pressure to type 2 diabetes, but the effects may not manifest until after age 40.
A recent study published in the International Journal of Obesity indicates that the effects of obesity may not become apparent until after age 40.
The study analyzed medications taken by nearly 19,000 obese, overweight and normal weight adults ranging in age from 25 to 70 who participated in National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1988-1994 and 2003-2006.
Researchers found that although obese people took slightly more medications than normal weight Americans, the main differences were among adults over the age of 40.
According to the data, 28.7 percent of obese men and 25.2 percent of normal weight men ages 25 to 39 took medication. However 60 percent of obese men ages 40 to 54 were on medication, compared with 39.3 percent of average weight men in the same age range.
Graduate student Brant Jarett, the study’s lead author, noted that body mass index, the formula doctors use to assess a person’s weight status, is not a fool proof method to determine whether someone is obese or overweight.
“It’s not the best measure in terms of risk factors or current health,” Jarett told the New York Times. Overall study results, however, were inconclusive.