A report published in Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology used a computer model to identify the impact obesity has on life expectancy. The analysis showed that being obese young is more damaging to your health and life expectancy.
The research team at McGill University in Canada highlighted type 2 diabetes and heart disease as the main sources of disability and death.
When compared with 20 to 39-year-olds of a healthy weight, men of the same age who are severely obese lost 8.4 years of life, and severely obese women lost 6.1. It was also found that men spent 18.8 years living in poor health, while women spent 19.1 years.
Looking at those in their forties and fifties, men lost an average of 3.7 years, and women lost 5.3 years. Finally those in their sixties and seventies lost just one year of their lives to obesity, however they still faced seven years of ill health.
Member of the research team, professor Steven Grover says their findings reveal a clear pattern between obesity and life expectancy,
“The pattern is clear. The more an individual weighs and the younger their age, the greater the effect on their health, as they have many years ahead of them during which the increased health risks associated with obesity can negatively impact their lives.”
Responding to these statistics, Barbara Dinsdale from charity Heart Research UK asks ‘how many more wake-up calls do we need?’
“This research study yet again supports the clear message that by becoming obese you not only take years off your life, but also life off your years in terms of experiencing more years in poor health rather than enjoying a happy, active and productive life.”
She goes on to say that whatever your size, making small, manageable changes are the best way forward for reduced risk of heart disease and a greater chance of a longer, healthier life.