Obesity shorten your life?
Obese and overweight people live shorter lives and live with more chronic diseases, according to a study published in JAMA Cardiology. Learn about how obesity affects life expectancy around the globe.
Currently, it is difficult to open a magazine or website devoted to health, sports or nutrition and not come across an article on obesity and the risks it brings. Over the past 40 years, the level of obesity has increased almost threefold in men, from 3.2% in 1975 to almost 11% in 2014, and among women from 6.4% to 15%. If this trend continues, by 2025, 18% of men and 21% of women will suffer from obesity.
Obesity also affects children and already in 2012 about 33% of children were diagnosed with overweight or obesity and here is also the growing trend. It can not be concealed that this is related to easy access to processed food, less traffic, because the yard, trees and beats have been replaced with tablets and consoles. As well as more active professional life of parents who may give their children little time .
„Being obese when you are 40 years old knocks up to seven years off your life – and obese smokers die 13 and-a-half years before their time.”
One often hears about the health risks of obesity. There is talk of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and more. And how does obesity affect the length of our lives? Does wearing excess pounds of body fat really shorten your life?
The scientists from the McGill University Health Center bent over this topic. To this end, they used a computer database and looked at the results of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which began in 2003 and ended in 2010. The results were alarming. It turned out that people who suffer from considerable obesity can shorten their lives by up to 6-8 years, depending on the degree of obesity. It’s a lot! Even overweight seems to affect life expectancy and can shorten them by an average of three years, compared to people maintaining normal body mass. The researchers also noted that the greater risk of shortening life occurs in people who are overweight or obese from an early age.
And what about people who are obese due to metabolic problems?
Many years ago, research suggests that up to a third of obese people, mostly young people, are „metabolically healthy.” This means that their weight problems are not due to insulin resistance, diabetes or various other inflammatory conditions, which are also often associated with weight problems. This indicates that these people had a significant impact on their weight and simply did not observe the principles of healthy eating.
When looking at the fat cells of obese women and men who have no metabolic health problems, it was observed that although this population has more fat cells, they are smaller. In contrast, in people with disorders, metabolic fat cells were less, but they were larger and they were more predisposed to co-create inflammation in the body. At the deeper cellular level, it was found that the mitochondria are not working properly and that the proper energy production and the breakdown of fat are disturbed. However, it is not clear whether inflammation results in malfunction of mitochondria or whether the inflammation causes their damage.
In that case, if there are two types of obesity, is one of them „healthier”?
Unfortunately not. Obesity in itself, for whatever reason, is an improper condition for our body. Even if an obese person is metabolically healthy, it is only a matter of time when health is lost. It is therefore exposed to the same health problems.
In a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, scientists observed over 900 healthy, metabolically obese people. The observations lasted over 10 years. At the end of this period, almost half of the respondents were diagnosed with various types of metabolic problems, which only proves that obesity, excess body fat and too high body weight contribute to the deterioration of health and, consequently, to shortening life. Even if a person who is obese is healthy for now, it is likely that this will not last too long.
Why obesity leads to metabolic problems?
Metabolic problems are usually associated with chronic inflammation and insulin resistance, but where does inflammation really come from? First, fat cells produce hormones that when released into the bloodstream trigger inflammation. Fat cells are not just a fat store. They are more like hormone-producing hormone organs that affect the functioning of the entire body.
Another theory concerns the limited ability of fat cells to store more fat. When the ability of a single fat cell to store fat is exceeded and the cells are too „stretched”, then additional fat must find a different place. In this situation, among others, to the liver, where it contributes to steatosis, a common form of non-alcoholic liver cirrhosis. Fat also goes to the muscle tissue, where it contributes to insulin resistance.
Obesity – the main disease factor
Based on the information described, it can be concluded that obesity alone does not shorten the life span, but it contributes significantly to this. It increases the risk of a long list of various health problems, such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer, osteoarthritis or sleep apnea. These are really irrefutable reasons to protect yourself against overweight and obesity!
Fighting with obesity is one of the greatest health challenges of our time. It is a really difficult task. Genetics is one thing and here scientists really must strain their minds to find medical solutions and help sick people, but in our hands is also the style of our lives. It is something that we can control ourselves. By focusing on regular movement, healthy diet and sleep, we can reduce the risk of overweight and consequently obesity. Even people who, due to metabolic problems, are sometimes doomed to excess body fat, if they only introduce healthy habits, they can significantly reduce their problems and have a positive effect on their health!