How much does obesity shorten your life?

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It’s pretty logical to think that healthy people tend to live longer than unhealthy people, but exactly how much being overweight or obese causes this has been difficult to quantify. That is, until a study released by researchers at McGill University. Not only can obesity shorten lifespan by 8 years, according to the study, the results are worse the earlier in life the weight is gained.

“In terms of life-expectancy,” said lead author and clinical epidemiologist, Dr. Steven Grover, “we feel being overweight is as bad as cigarette smoking.”

Gaining weight and losing life

Measuring exactly how much time obesity can take away from a life span is a difficult prospect. In order to make calculations, researchers looked at data gathered as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in order to create a method of estimating how much risk heart disease, diabetes and other cardiovascular problems presented to participants of differing body weights. This also involved taking into account how much weight each of the over 4,000 individuals examined lost or gained each year.

After taking into account the numerous factors involved, scientists reached the conclusion that, depending on the level of obesity could be as high as 8 years. Even just being overweight took off 3 years of life. The younger the age when gaining weight, the worse the eventual results were. Their results were published in journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

One foot in front of the other

As the obesity epidemic in America continues to grow, studies like these help put meaningful numbers to problems that can seem a bit too long-term to get a real grasp of. And, on the plus side, these numbers can work to your benefit as well. Staying active and eating healthy can have great benefits soon and profoundly good effects even further down the line. The important part is starting a plan and sticking to it.

One study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that getting in shape could lower the risk of mortality by a huge margin. In fact, just getting a 5-minute run each day can make a real difference.

Honestly, the amount of studies that could be cited to show that exercise and good diet are important is pretty much endless. What’s more important for most people is how to best take advantage of these new discoveries.

Your fitness concierge

Olumia Life uses the latest, proven medical knowledge to create an exercise, diet and even sleep system that will help you get healthy in the most efficient way and stay that way. It’s not about overly rapid weight loss or getting a bodybuilder shape; Olumia Life is designed to help you be in great shape. You’ll be at lower risk of disease and injury, more energetic, and be able to better control your weight (including losing weight).

As the study out of McGill has shown, keeping yourself healthy and at the right weight/level of fitness not only helps you today and tomorrow, it can ensure you have plenty more tomorrows on the way.

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