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Obesity shortens lifespans by ‘up to eight years’

Obesity shortens lifespans by ‘up to eight years’
December 21, 2014

Being severely obese can cut a person’s life short by up to eight years and cause decades of ill health, according to a study carried out by researchers from McGill University in Canada.

The findings, published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal, showed that being obese at a young age is even more damaging to health and life expectancy.

The research team, headed by lead author Dr Steven Grover, a Clinical Epidemiologist at the RI-MUHC and a Professor of Medicine at McGill University, established a computer model to calculate the impact of weight on life expectancy throughout life, which uncovered a clear gender difference in terms of vulnerability.

Dr Grover and colleagues used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (from years 2003 to 2010) to develop a model that estimates the annual risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in adults with different body weights. The data, from almost 4,000 individuals, was also used to analyse the contribution of excess body weight to years, and those who were overweight could lose up to three years.

In addition, healthy life-years lost were two to four times higher for overweight and obese individuals compared to those who had a healthy weight, defined as 18.5-25 body mass index (BMI). The age at which the excess weight accumulated was an important factor and the worst outcomes were in those who gained their weight at earlier ages.

Dr Grover explained “the pattern is clear - the more an individual weighs and the younger their age, the greater the effect on their health.

“In terms of life-expectancy, we feel being overweight is as bad as cigarette smoking.”

In comparison to 20-39 year-olds of a healthy weight, severely obese men of the same age lost 8.4 years of life and women lost 6.1 years.

Men also spent 18.8 more years living in poor health, while the respective figure for women is 19.1.

For people in their 40s and 50s, men lost 3.7 years of life and women lost 5.3 years to obesity.

Click here to visit the website of The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal.

3rd December 2014 - REPORT IDENTIFIES GROWTH IN PERSONAL TRAINING LED BY RISING LEVELS OF HEALTH CONSCIOUSNESS

21st November 2014 - A QUARTER OF QUEENSLAND DEATHS LINKED TO OBESITY


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