The menopause and obesity

Prim Care. 2003 Jun;30(2):317-25. doi: 10.1016/s0095-4543(03)00012-5.


In summary, menopause tends to be associated with an increased risk of obesity and a shift to an abdominal fat distribution with associated increase in health risks. Changes in body composition at menopause may be caused by the decrease in circulating estrogen, and, for fat distribution shifts, the relative increase in the androgen-estrogen ratio is likely to be important. Clinicians need to be aware of the likelihood of weight gain during the perimenopausal and postmenopausal years because behavioral strategies for weight loss can be effectively used in this population. Weight loss or prevention of weight gain is likely to have significant health benefits for older women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Composition
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Menopause*
  • Obesity / etiology*
  • Obesity / prevention & control*