Is Being Obese for Longer, Worse for Your Health?

time of obesityScienceDaily reported today on a study that linked the number of years an individual is obese with an increased risk of mortality. The research shows that regardless of one’s Body Mass Index (BMI), the length of time that one is obese is a strong predictor of how long one will live.

Researchers from Monash University and the University of Copenhagen used data from the Framingham Heart Study. They found that “as the onset of obesity occurs earlier and the number of years lived with obesity increases, the risk of mortality associated with adult obesity in contemporary populations is expected to increase compared with previous decades.”

For individuals who had lived with obesity for 5 – 14.9 years, considered a medium length of time, the risk of mortality more than doubled compared to those who had never been obese. For those who had been obese the longest (over 15 years), the risk of mortality nearly tripled those who had never been obese. In addition, according to the research, for every additional two years lived with obesity, the risk of mortality increased six to seven percent.

“This research provides added support for all the current policy trying to prevent obesity in general. It also indicates that we should try extra hard to prevent obesity at younger ages,” said Dr Anna Peeters, who is a researcher at Monash University.

You can read ScienceDaily’s article here.

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