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Obesity is a killer

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Obesity is a killer

Everyone gets that being seriously overweight or obese is bad for our health—but new research has discovered that it is life-threatening, and could increase the risk of premature death by as much as 91 percent.

Researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder estimate that one in six deaths in the US are directly related to obesity or being seriously overweight, and have explained why the so-called ‘obesity paradox’—where people with a high BMI appear to be protected from heart disease—is a false flag.

Overall, obesity increases the risk of premature death by between 22 and 91 percent, and it’s a very real risk, they say.

The ‘obesity paradox’ had suggested that people classified by their BMI score as overweight had the lowest mortality risk, those who were obese had little or no risk and only those who were ‘underweight’ with a BMI of less than 18.5 or were extremely obese (BMI score greater than 35) were at risk.

But that didn’t make sense, said Ryan Masters, one of the researchers.  And that’s because of two flaws in the BMI measure: it doesn’t take into account that people with a healthy BMI score may recently have been obese, and it doesn’t allow for body composition.  Hollywood icon Tom Cruise is ‘obese’, according to his BMI score of 31.5, but that’s because of his relative short stature of 5 feet, 7 inches, and his muscular frame that weighs 201 pounds.

Factor in time and composition, and the paradox disappears, argues Masters.  A lifetime of carrying excess weight can have a bigger impact on health that just the current BMI score.

These BMI failings have underplayed the lethal effects of obesity, and Masters reckons the real risk is eight times greater than the 3 percent suggested by the official consensus.

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Population Studies, 2023; 1; doi: 10.1080/00324728.2023.2168035
Article Topics: obesity, overweight
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