Obese at High Risk of Early Death
The rate of obesity among Americans has been increasing to epidemic levels over the last few decades and is shortening life expectancy. In a recent study published online in the American Journal of Public Health on January 16th, researchers indicated that obesity shortens an individual’s life span by an average of 4 years.
It has been well documented that obesity has a direct effect on chronic illnesses, but statistics from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey state that obesity increases the risk of death by 20%. The survey covered periods from 1988-1994 and included death statistics through as recently as 2006.
Obese individuals died 3.7 years before individuals with normal weight
Obese adults between 45-64 years old died 7.1 years before adults with normal weight
Heart disease related deaths occurred 12.8 years earlier in obese adults between the ages of 45-64 years old
With obesity rates on the rise and life expectancy decreasing, the researchers fear that if nothing is done to better educate Americans on healthy eating and staying active, obesity will become even more prevalent than it is now and will become a huge burden on the healthcare system.