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Extreme Obesity Can Take 10 Years Off Your Life

Extreme Obesity As Bad As a Lifetime of Smoking

We typically think of smoking as the baddest of all bad habits, but a new study suggests that extreme obesity could be just as unhealthy. In fact, being extremely obese — that is, 100 or more pounds over your healthy weight — could take as many as 10 years off your life. These revelations come out of a new analysis based on studies of more than 900,000 people, mostly from the US and Western Europe, and will be published in an upcoming issue of The Lancet. Researcher Richard Peto of Oxford University equates the danger of extreme obesity to lifelong smoking; it can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

Even people not considered extremely obese are at risk. "Obese" indicates a BMI of 30 or greater, and an estimated one-third of US residents fit into this category. For those people who are about 40 or more pounds overweight, life expectancy could be shortened by as many as three years. In overweight people, every five-point increase in BMI can increase the risk of early death by 30 percent.


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Symphonee Symphonee 8 years
True Spectra but the disdain that is openly hurled at smokers for killing themselves is ridiculous. Most people have no idea what their BMI is even supposed to be. I work in a field where I calculate people's BMI's all day and a vast moajority of them when they hear their number are genuinely surprised. I have talked to people's whose BMI were over 45 and this has happened on SEVERAL occasions. IMHO, we haven't taken the "love yourself" movement to extremes where people are further deluding themselves that being 5'5" and 230lbs is ok as long as you love yourself. I'm sorry but it is not and neither is being 5'5" and 100 lbs.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
Amen, legalbeagle. I couldn't have said it better myself.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Although sour and legal have a good point, you can't argue that smoking is probably one of the worst habits you can have, health-wise. The study said you had to be 100+ lbs overweight in order for it to shorten your lifespan as much as smoking does. IMHO, that's fairly extreme, but it does show that if you continuously eat like crap and gain a LOT of weight, it definitely has an impact on your health. Keep in perspective though, that even if you eat healthy, work out, and still smoke, you're still probably knocking quite a few years off your lifespan.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
sour I am with you. Although I hate smoking and do call it disgusting I will just as openly say so when I see someone who is massively obese coming out of McDonalds, well to myself that is.
sourcherry sourcherry 8 years
Legalbeagle, you're completely right! I find myself appalled so many times by the way many people treat smokers and what they say about smoking... It's a prejudice that has become out of control! We know it's very bad for you, but people who smoke deserve to be treated with respect nonetheless. But what's even worse is that other equally unhealthy habits are almost taboo. While people don't think twice to say "smoking is disgusting", saying anything about being extremely overweight or eating nachos all day is a big no no. We need more news and research about this, so that people realize how life threatening obesity is, and hopefully adopt a healthier lifestyle.
blondie829 blondie829 8 years
that's why i'm working it out!! :) hopefully i'll be out of that category soon.
Symphonee Symphonee 8 years
Here, Here legal. This news is greatly saddening and hopefully will serve as a wake up call to a lot of people who don't take the time to eat right and exercise.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that sometimes showing people that it's worse than something else that we already knew was horrible is the thing that makes you realize that you HAVE to be more mindful. i think that we all knew that obesity wasn't going to maintain your life expectancy at all, but to know now that it's going to be that detrimental - it's only going to do good thing i hope
michlny michlny 8 years
legalbeagle legalbeagle 8 years
I know this is kind of insensitive, and I shouldnt even be defending smoking to begin with. But I get so mad at people / my friends / my family who criticize me for having a ciggarett after a few drinks, but have what could be the worst diet in the world. Ive had a very heavy friend slap a ciggarette out of my mouth while we were out drinking one night... you dont see me running around slapping buffalo chicken fingers and nachos out of people's mouths Again, I know I shouldnt be defending smoking, I only do it once in a great while and know its bad for me! Im just saying that being obese is just as bad but its become socially acceptable to treat smokers a certain way when other habits are just as bad for you and no one says anything.
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