As several studies have suggested that weight loss can improve life expectancy, one of the first things a doctor might suggest to his patient during an annual check-up is to lose weight. A healthier number on the scale can equate to fewer issues with diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. As the waistlines of the world’s citizens have greatly increased in recent years and obesity has become a worldwide phenomenon, there have been many studies on the effects of extra weight on the body.
Obesity and Overweight Studies
A recent study suggests that extremely obese people who are at least 80 or more pounds overweight may live up to 12 years less than their normal weight counterparts. Such levels of obesity can lead one to an increased rate of sleep apnea, respiratory issues, heart disease and osteoarthritis.
Studies have also shown that as an affliction, obesity is the number one preventable cause of death not only in the United States, but worldwide. Scientists often cite the number of overweight individuals as “epidemic” in proportion, and believe it to be one of the most grave health concerns in the world.
While it is generally suggested that being obese can have very adverse effects on life expectancy and carry with it the potential for a variety of medical afflictions, being overweight (carrying a lesser amount of extra weight) can also lead one to the first stages of diabetes and sleep apnea.
Being Overweight Makes It Harder to Stay Healthy
As much as 64 percent of the population in the United States is considered overweight and while a few extra pounds might not seem as though it will impact longevity, increased weight can lead to reduced flexibility and endurance, meaning that the heavier one is, the more difficult it is to engage in exercise. As the number one method of keeping the heart and body healthy, being unable to exercise due to weight gain is a serious issue because it can lead to a snowball effect where the more weight one gains, the less able he or she is to exercise.
An interesting study that started in the mid-1970s actually suggests that a sustained effort at weight loss (when there are no measurable weight loss results) might actually harm the body. This essentially means that it’s healthier to engage in a successful weight loss program than attempt and fail to lose weight for a significant number of years.
The conclusion of the scientists was that the effects of dieting for a sustained amount of time is hard on the body and can actually lower life expectancy because of the stresses on the body that dieting can cause. So “attempting” to lose weight is a good thing, until that attempt provides no measureable results for many years.
This means it’s very important to carefully consider your weight loss goals and enlist the help of your doctor to assist in creating a weight loss program that will lead you to consistent weight loss and hopefully increased life expectancy.