Obesity can shorten life by 8 years.
The study further demonstrates that when one considers that these individuals may also develop diabetes or cardiovascular disease earlier in life, this excess weight can rob them of nearly two decades of healthy life.
TORONTO: Being overweight or obese may decrease life expectancy by up to 8 years, a new study has warned. The research led by investigators at Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and McGill University in Montreal examined the relationship between body weight and life expectancy. The findings show that overweight and obese individuals have the potential to decrease life expectancy by up to 8 years.
The study further demonstrates that when one considers that these individuals may also develop diabetes or cardiovascular disease earlier in life, this excess weight can rob them of nearly two decades of healthy life. The analysis showed being obese at a young age was more damaging to health and life expectancy. The team, at the University of Montreal in Canada, said heart problems and type 2 diabetes were major sources of disability and death.
"Our team has developed a computer model to help doctors and their patients better understand how excess body weight contributes to reduced life expectancy and premature development of heart disease and diabetes," said lead author Dr Steven Grover, a Clinical Epidemiologist at RI-MUHC. Grover and his 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. This data from almost 4,000 individuals was also used to analyse the contribution of excess body weight to years of life lost and healthy years of life lost.
In comparison with 20 to 39-year-olds with a healthy weight, severely obese men of the same age lost 8.4 years of life and women lost 6.1. Men also spent 18.8 more years living in poor health while women spent 19.1 in that state.
Moving up an age group to those in the forties and fifties, men lost 3.7 years and women 5.3 years to obesity. Men and women in their sixties and seventies lost just one year of life to obesity, but still faced seven years in ill health.
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) more
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