Data, Info and News of Life and Economy

Daily Archives: March 22, 2022

Study: Excess Weight in Midlife Means a Sicker Old Age

Amy Norton wrote . . . . . . . . .

Here’s a compelling reason to shed those extra pounds: A new study finds that middle-aged people who are obese, or even simply overweight, may face more health problems down the road.

The study, of nearly 30,000 men and women, found that the more people weighed around age 40, the greater their odds of chronic health conditions after age 65. And obesity, particularly severe levels, ultimately cut people’s lives short by five years, on average, compared to those who were in the normal-weight range.

“There are serious health consequences to obesity that should not be ignored,” said lead researcher Dr. Sadiya Khan. She is an assistant professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in Chicago.

Class III obesity, once known as “morbid obesity,” refers to a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more.

“These patients are at least 100 pounds overweight, and often have conditions like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Vance Albaugh, a bariatric surgeon and researcher at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, in Baton Rouge, La.

Those people, Albaugh said, frequently need help beyond lifestyle changes — including medication or some type of weight-loss surgery. Those procedures alter the digestive tract to limit the amount of food a person can eat and the absorption of calories from food.

But this study shows that while class III obesity in middle age might be the biggest health threat, it is not the only one, Albaugh said.

The findings show a gradient: Middle-aged people who were overweight fared a little worse in older age than those who were normal-weight, and those with mild obesity did a little worse still.

“That’s not surprising,” said Albaugh, who was not involved in the research. But it underscores the potential benefits of healthy lifestyle changes for people with the common middle-age spread, he said.

“This suggests you can benefit from losing a small amount of weight, or just stopping yourself from moving into the ‘obese’ category,” Albaugh added.

That’s not to say weight loss — or more to the point, maintaining weight loss — is easy. The human body is more wired toward gaining weight than losing it, Albaugh said. So when calories are more scarce, the body responds by expending fewer of them.

On top of that, people generally gain weight as they get older, Albaugh noted. It all means that a middle-aged person trying to shed pounds may be fighting an uphill battle.

The good news, though, is that it’s not all about the number on the scale, Albaugh said. People can still reap health benefits from eating well and exercising, even if the scale shows little change.

The new findings, published online in JAMA Network Open, are based on almost 30,000 Chicago-area adults who were followed for over 40 years. At the outset, they were 40 years of age, on average.

Overall, those who were overweight had a similar life expectancy as their counterparts with a normal BMI. But obesity took about two to five years from people’s lives. People who were normal-weight died at age 82, on average, versus age 77 among those with class III obesity in middle-age.

But when it came to chronic health conditions, even overweight people were worse off. Compared with their normal-weight counterparts, they typically spent an extra year of their lives with conditions like heart disease, diabetes or stroke. That increased to two to three years among people who were moderately obese (class I or II) in middle-age.

Khan stressed that “it’s never too early or too late” to make lifestyle changes for the better.

But she also said the burden should not be on individuals alone — especially people with low incomes who struggle to simply pay the rent. Khan said they need the help of policies that, for example, make healthy “whole” foods more accessible and provide “green spaces” for exercise.

Albaugh also suggested that people start with small changes that are achievable and, most importantly, sustainable. That could mean replacing sugary drinks with water, using the stairs instead of the elevator, or taking a daily walk around the neighborhood.

Source: HealthDay

Chart: U.S. Existing Home Sales MoM and YoY Down in February 2022

Source : Bloomberg

Chart: Countries Banning or Regulating Cryptocurrency

Source : Statista

The Day the Market Bottomed Thirteen Years Ago

Michael Batnick wrote . . . . . . . . .

Thirteen years ago, the financial world was in free fall. Lehman Brothers, a financial institution that had been around since before The Civil War, declared bankruptcy. Mortgage delinquencies were sky-rocketing, peaking at 11%. One in ten workers was without a job. Things were dire, and the chaos was reflected in the stock market, which in seventeen months, was trading at just 45 cents on the dollar.

If investors were told to hang tight, that the S&P 500 would return 17% a year for the next thirteen years, 700% total, nobody would have believed it. The sky was dark in 2009 and it seemed like the sun would never shine again. But the darkness always gives way to light because hope is more powerful than despair. People never lose the motivation to provide for their families and to make the future better than the past.

Below is a short list of products and services we take for granted today that are proof of our collective drive. None of these things existed when Bear Stearns was being rescued:

  • Uber
  • Streaming (technically it did but it was garbage)
  • Instagram
  • Slack
  • FaceTime/Zoom
  • Airpods
  • Crowdfunding
  • Venmo/mobile payments
  • Crispr
  • Reusable rockets
  • Smart items in the home. Ring, Alexa, Nest, etc
  • iPads
  • Electric vehicles (they existed but had 0% market share)
  • Self-driving cars (still waiting but maybe a little closer)
  • Standing desks
  • Shared office space
  • Work from home
  • Crypto
  • Podcasts
  • Robo-advisors
  • Quantitative easing/zero interest rates
  • Theranos

All of that progress is quantifiable and ultimately reveals itself in the stock market. The chart above demonstrates the triumph of the optimists.

It’s easy to lose sight of the light when all we see is darkness. And it’s easy to overweight today’s problems and underweight the worries that are now comfortably in the rearview mirror.

I said recently that investors haven’t had this much on their plate in a long time. It’s just a lot between the tech blowup, commodity spike, inflation, supply-chain issues, and the fed normalizing rates. But is today really more scary than March 2020? Is it, Michael? Alright, ya got me. It’s not remotely close. I think the economic outcome market’s response is likely to be uglier and choppier than what we saw from the v-bottom in March, but come on. Covid was a different level of uncertainty.

I’m sharing this chart because today (March 9, 2022) is the anniversary of the GFC lows. And it helps remind me, and hopefully you, that there are always reasons to sell. Always. The point is not to make light of the challenges ahead, but it serves as a reminder of what’s on the other side. Actually, it serves as a reminder that there is no other side. It’s never “all good.” That’s really the point. There are always reasons to sell.

See large image . . . . . .

The way to deal with uncertain times, and that’s the only times there ever are, is having a plan. The two questions you need to ask, from an investment standpoint, is, “Can I stick with my strategy if the market bottoms today and we’re at all-time highs by the summer?” And, “Can I stick with my strategy if the market falls another 20% and doesn’t recover for a few more years.” If your answer is yes, you’re good. If not, it’s time to find a strategy that works for you.

Source : The Irrelevant Investor

Infographic: Global Happiness Levels in 2022

See large image . . . . . .

Source : Visual Capitalist

Chart: Russian’s Commodities Export

Source : Bloomberg