Persistence of obesity decides health hazards


The BBC News reported that the “health hazards of obesity may have been grossly underestimated because we are not measuring the condition adequately”. Its website says that we should not focus on weight gain alone, but also look at how long it persists.

This news story was based on an analysis of data from the Framingham Heart Study, a long-running research project started in 1948 that went on to study participants for up to 48 years. As part of the study, researchers measured whether participants were obese every two years, as well as recording various aspects of their health. This new analysis found that the longer people stayed obese the greater their risk of dying from any cause (all-cause mortality), as well as cardiovascular diseases specifically.

This study further highlights the health risks of obesity. The researchers say that the duration of obesity is particularly important in today’s society where people are becoming obese at an earlier age. A healthy body mass index (BMI) is considered to be between 18.5 and 24.9, whereas obesity is classified as having a BMI above 30. People who are concerned about their weight can obtain help and advice from their GP.

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