Here’s a wake up call for those of us carrying too much weight. When it comes to weight gain, calculation of obesity risks to your health has focused on the severity of the weight gain on its own, but paid no attention to how long that weight had been hanging around.
Some compelling new research finds that every added decade of being obese more than doubles your death risk. Just like pack years for a smoker, work that appears in the International Journal of Epidemiology calls for the “obese year” to become part of any assessment of health for a patient.
Researcher Dr. Asnawi Abdullah out of Australia’s Monash University believes that the health toll of all those extra pounds is far higher than we know because estimates haven’t factored in the duration of a person’s obesity.
Today the obesity epidemic has gotten tremendous press. Sadly, there are all too many of us who fall on the high side of the BMI scale… over 25.0.
In the U.S., a full third of adults belong to the obese category. In the U.K. the number is a quarter of adults – still significant to be sure and predicted to rise.
What’s worse, if the current trends continue, obesity will become a prominent health problem for more and more of us the world over.
Work by Abdulla and her team found that the duration of obesity has a direct impact on death risk. And this is independent of other factors like age or just how heavy a person is.
The team examined the health of 5,036 patients who lived in the U.S. who were enrolled in the Framingham Cohort Study that tracked their health every two years over many decades.
Among the subjects, death risk rose by 7% for every added two years of being obese. Being at this weight for between 15 and 25 years more than doubled the death risk, compared to those who were never obese.
Death risk tripled for those who were obese for longer than 25 years. Now you see why researchers are so concerned… the risk of death for those currently obese might be so much higher than any other time in history.
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Experts: Doctors Should Start Tracking “Obese Years”… Continued…
What’s more, people are falling into the obese categories at younger and younger ages, which means that kids today might actually expect a shorter lifespan than past generations.
The onset of obesity is often 10 years earlier than in the past.
The team of researchers suggests that the number of years you’ve been obese needs to be considered when doing an assessment of overall health.
If your doctor can tell you the consequences of your extra weight, in terms of how shortened your life will be, this might be enough to get some people on the road to weight loss.
But scare tactics don’t work for everyone. If they did, losing weight wouldn’t be such a struggle for so many. The truth is, losing weight isn’t quick… or easy… but it can be done by making small, manageable changes and sticking with them over the long haul.
It’s also important to understand that weight loss, at any age, will do wonders to help reverse obesity risks, extend your life and leave you with less risk of dangerous, life altering disease.