Even Moderate Weight Gain Increases the Potential for Early Death

My Bariatric Life Health Guide
  • Potential For Death From Obesity Higher Than Previously Supposed
    If premature death is your cup of tea, then pull up a bag of chips, cancel the tea, and get out a super-sized coaster that will fit beneath a Big Gulp. Beef up if you wish my friends, the choice is yours. Afterall, what can possibly go wrong?

    The potential for an early death increases even with a moderate weight gain of 10 to 20 pounds for a person of average height. Heart disease increases for people who are overweight, as does blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Over 80 percent of people with diabetes are overweight, and being overweight or obese increases the possibility of getting certain types of cancer. Besides that, it’s all good with no need to worry. 

    Just one more thing though. It gets worse.

    More Nails for the Coffin

    A recent study from Columbia University states that previous estimates regarding deaths from obesity are inaccurate. It is now believed that obesity among middle-aged and older Americans is three times greater than once supposed. 

    Current estimates are that 18 percent of deaths in the United States among people aged 40 to 85 are related to being overweight or obese. Previous estimates were about five percent. Expectations are that the number of deaths related to obesity will continue to increase and that life expectancy in the U.S. may begin to decline.

    Women seem to be especially affected by the burden of excessive weight. More than one-quarter of deaths among black women and more than one-fifth of deaths among white women are related to excess weight. Obesity also is twice as common among black women as it is among white women.

    Some Challenges to the Data

    Curiously enough, the National Center for Health Statistics contend that being overweight at age 65 or older may actually lower a person’s risk of death. Dr. Katherine Flegal of the National Center for Health Statistics maintains that the association between weight and mortality is weak. 

    The research conducted by Ryan Masters and the methods he used to make his calculations have caused a bit of a stir.

    Martin reviewed data contained in several national health surveys from the 20-year period 1986 to 2006. Information such as height and weight were used to calculate body mass index and determine if someone was overweight or obese. He then looked at the death records of those same people and came to his conclusions.

    Masters claims there is a strong association between obesity and mortality risks, noting that the Center for Disease Control does not list obesity as a cause of death. The Center for Disease Control lists heart disease as the number one cause of death, although illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are closely associated with obesity.

    In addition, obese people are more likely to smoke and eat unhealthy foods than are thin people. 
    Living life well-fed,
    My Bariatric Life


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Published On: January 17, 2014