No, Being Obese Will Not Make You Live Longer

Obese woman sunbathing

A new study suggests that the so-called ‘obesity paradox’ which claims that being obese could add years to your life, is just a myth. Researchers confirmed once more that obesity is tied to higher risk of chronic disease and premature death.

The research, which appeared in the JAMA Cardiology journal, revealed that study participants who had not been diagnosed with heart disease when the study started had a higher risk of age-adjusted mortality if they were obese than their peers with normal weights.

The meta-analysis included ten studies and data on about 200,000 people. In each study, obesity was linked to a lower life expectancy, regardless of its severity. Severe obesity, though, cut two years out of women’s life expectancy and more than five years from men’s.

Obesity also led to more instances of heart disease and chronic disease than in people that were just overweight when the study started.

Overweight People Still Face High Cardiovascular Disease Risk

However, being overweight is not a good thing either. Overweight men had a 20 percent higher risk of a heart disease in mid life than men with a normal weight. That risk jumped to 30 percent in overweight women.

The study also found that even in normal weight people in the Western world the risk of heart disease and stroke was quite high. Around 30% of men and 20% of women that were normal weight developed cardiovascular disease later in life.

Experts explained that it is not normal for any cardiovascular event to occur in mid-life. Earlier last year, a study that appeared in the Lancet revealed that the population with the lowest coronary artery disease rates was a tribe living in the Bolivian Amazon.

That tribe, called the Tsimane, thrives on hunting, fishing, farming, and gathering. Experts estimate that the Tsimanes’ diet, which is made of 14% protein, 14% fats, and 72% healthy carbohydrates, accounts for their stunningly low rates of cardiovascular disease.
Image Source: Wikimedia

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