It's the time of year when many of us begin thinking about New Year's resolutions. If losing weight is on your list, here's another incentive: a new study finds that older adults who are obese may be more likely than thinner people to suffer a disabling fall.
This is somewhat surprising since it is generally assumed that thinner people are more frail as they get older. But the researchers who conducted this study, which was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, say that older obese adults have a harder time keeping their balance and may not react as quickly to stop a fall.
The researchers found that older obese adults were from 12 to 50 percent more likely to suffer a fall than people of normal weight and the risk rose with the level of obesity. The findings were based on a survey of nearly 11,000 Americans who were at least 65.
When obese people are injured in a fall, they are less likely to recover than thinner people, the researchers found. One reason for that is that they are probably not in as good physical shape to start with as thinner or normal weight people.
So the lesson here is clear: If you're overweight, get working on that resolution today.