Being obese can shorten life by eight years and cause up to two decades of ill-health, scientists have warned.
Using a computer model to predict the lifelong toll of being overweight, studies have shown that diabetes, heart disease and other obesity-related issues can deprive people of up to 19 years of good health.
Those with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 or more, are likely to shave between one and eight years off their lives, whilst overweight people with BMI’s of 25 to 30 are predicted to have their lives shortened by up to three years.
Lead researcher Professor Steven Grover, from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, said:
‘Our computer modelling study shows that obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease and stroke, and diabetes. This will, on average, dramatically reduce an individual's life expectancy compared with people of normal weight.’
Research as shown that one in ten children are obese when they start school at the age of four or five. This rises to one in five by the final year of primary school when they reach the age of 11.
Childhood obesity has both short and long-term effects on their health. Immediate health concerns include increased risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and pre-diabetes.
Long-term, children who are obese are likely to be obese as adults and are therefore at greater risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and osteoarthritis.
Maureen Talbot, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation, says:
‘The results of this study put the health consequences of being overweight into terms we can all understand. It demonstrates that if you’re overweight at a younger age, the impact on your health is much greater. Both in life expectancy and in the years of life free from chronic diseases. It reinforces the importance of adopting heart-healthy habits like keeping our weight down, eating healthily and being physically active, throughout our lives.’
So, what needs to be done to turn the obesity crisis on its head for a longer and healthier life?
Many people admit to being obese due to not having the knowledge or understanding of what they should be eating, and how to prepare it. We’re not talking about a diet of lettuce leaves and carrot sticks. Nor are we all to suddenly become Heston Blumenthal in the kitchen!
It’s about educating the nation on what the body needs to function effectively, and how to prepare simple, healthy, and realistic meals that can become part of a long-term healthy lifestyle.
Our Weight Management Certification will equip you with the tools required to plan and monitor nutrition programmes, to help lead the fight against obesity. Covering the nutritional basis of healthy eating, the physiology and psychology of dieting and educating individuals on the analysis of food labels, you’ll have the professional qualification to provide advice to those ready to manage their weight for longer and healthier life.
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