Study Shows Obesity Takes Years Off Lifespan

According to a recent study, obesity has been proven to take years off of an individual’s lifespan. A new study that has been in the works in Canada at McGill University has concluded that being obese is connected to a higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Both of these two diseases are very serious in determining an individual’s overall health and can lead to chronic illness. The study also concluded that individuals, not only lost eight years of their physical life, they had a much poor quality of life because they also lost almost two decades of healthy life.

The Study at McGill University was spanned out over a seven year period, from 2003 to 2010. The research would include separate studies for male and female and each gender would be studied in three separate groups according to their age range. Then those groups would be divided further into three more groups that would include, overweight, obese, and very obese. The study would then determine how many years would be shaved off of their lives and how many years of good health that their obesity would affect as compared to individuals that were considered to be an ideal body weight and individuals who smoke. The results would be used to show whether or not obesity takes years off of an individual’s lifespan.

The study concluded that individuals in the first age group, 29 to 39-year olds, they lost anywhere between 2.7 and 8.4 years of life due to their weight, depending on their level of obesity (overweight, obese, or very obese). For women, it ranged anywhere from 2.6 to 6.1-years of life that they would lose. It would also be determined that males in the same age range would lose anywhere between 5.9 to 18.8 years of quality life due to their obesity and women would lose between 6.3 and 19.1 years of healthy living.

The next age group of individuals that took part in the study was between 40 and 59-years old. For males, their lifespan would be shortened anywhere between .8 to 3.7 years. Females of the same age group would lose anywhere between 1 to 5.3 years of lifespan depending on the severity of obesity. Males would lose anywhere between 1.8 to 11.3 years of healthy life, and females would lose anywhere between 3.4 to 15.9 years.

The last age group studied would be individuals between 60 to 79-years old. The study would determine that males would take off anywhere between .4 to .9 years of their lifespan, whereas, females would take anywhere between .8 to .9 years depending on the severity of their obesity. Males would anywhere between .5 to .9 years of quality living, and females would lose anywhere between 3.4 to 7.3 years of healthy life.

After receiving and studying all of the data from the study, it was concluded that the older you are, the less chances that an individual’s weight will impact their lifespan, as well as their quality of life up until their death. The study also revealed that women have a higher rating when it comes to obesity having the ability to affect their lifespan and their healthy living years. It was also found that individuals that are obese and individuals that smoke both show similar results in how those two variables affect their lifespan and their healthy living years. One thing is for certain, the study was able to determine that obesity takes years off of one’s lifespan and that exercise can play an important role in, both, how long one will live and the quality of life that one is able to have.

By Kelli Patterson

CBS News
BBC News
The Lancet
Photo courtesy of Dr. Abdullah Naser’s Flickr Page- Flickr License

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