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Why do women gain weight after menopause?

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About 30% of women ages 50-59 are not just overweight, but obese. It's likely a mix of factors related to menopause and aging.

Lower estrogen levels may lower metabolic rate, which how fast the body converts stored energy into working energy. Lack of estrogen may also cause your body to use starches and blood sugar less effectively, which makes you store more fat so it's harder to lose weight.

As you age, you're less likely to exercise, you lose muscle mass, and your body uses energy more slowly.

SOURCES:

Obesity Society: "Obesity in U.S. Adults: 2007."

Consumer Reports : "Working up a sweat helps women deal with menopause" and "Stay active and fit."

Weight Control Information Network: "Understanding Obesity."

Medscape: "Exercise, Weight Gain, and Menopause."

American Osteopathic Association: "Exercise in Post-Menopausal Women."

American Council on Fitness: "Exercise and Menopause."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on February 15, 2019

SOURCES:

Obesity Society: "Obesity in U.S. Adults: 2007."

Consumer Reports : "Working up a sweat helps women deal with menopause" and "Stay active and fit."

Weight Control Information Network: "Understanding Obesity."

Medscape: "Exercise, Weight Gain, and Menopause."

American Osteopathic Association: "Exercise in Post-Menopausal Women."

American Council on Fitness: "Exercise and Menopause."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on February 15, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

How does estrogen affect weight gain after menopause?

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