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Excess Weight Increases Risk of Death

Excess Weight Increases Risk of DeathDid you know that your risk of death rises steadily with every overweight pound you gain? This was confirmed on  a huge study funded by the National Institutes of Health . There are lots of reasons for death rates or probability for death rates to increase. We have all heard about smokers and that they tend to die about 5 years earlier on average than every one else who does not smoke. Being over weight can have the same effect or perhaps even more so. This is a serious result, yet people do not listen! Excess Weight Increases Risk of Death and over 50% of our population is overweight.

Excess Weight Increases Risk of Death – Body Mass Index

Even if you don’t smoke and are in otherwise good health, your risk of death goes up 31% with every 5-point increase in BMI, a measure of body mass based on weight and height.  The normal range BMI is 22.5 to 24.9. The neat thing about BMI is that it accounts for height and if you are taller and carrying more weight, then your BMI is not going to be as high as you might expect.

Just being a little bit overweight increases death risk.

  • A BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 increased death risk by 13%
  • A BMI of 30.0 to 34.9 increased death risk by 44%
  • BMI of 35.0 to 39.9 increased death risk by 88%
  • A BMI of 40.0 to 49.9 increased death risk by 251%

Those figures above are for women who do not smoke and who have no underlying disease. Men will have similar percentages. These numbers are really scary and if this does not kick start you into losing weight nothing will! Being overweight can cause all kinds of problems which may trigger mortality. Heart attacks and stroke, asthma, diabetes, liver issues and infections are just some of the problems that people who are overweight must contend with.

Excess Weight Increases Risk of Death – Shorter Life Span

It is possible that other diseases unrelated to being over weight could have an impact. However there just seems to be too much correlation based on various studies to not pay attention to some of these figures. Excess Weight Increases Risk of Death is a proven fact.

Most people have heard that smokers can expect a shortened life span due to long term smoking and second hand smoke. Now people who are considered obese can expect a shortened life span as well compared to people who have a BMI that is below 24.9. Some studies indicate that the impact can be as much as 4 years although this is only a guideline. For some people they may reduce their life span by much more than 4 years while others not so much. Either way it is a good reason to get in shape and lose weight.

What Is a Healthy BMI?

A person with a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered to be at a healthy weight. A person with a BMI of 25-29.9 is considered to be overweight. A BMI over 30 is considered obese. A BMI of 40 or above indicates that a person is morbidly obese. This can increases a person’s risk of death from any cause by 50% to 150%.

What does a BMI of 24.9 mean in terms of height and weight? Well if you are 5 feet 7 inches tall and weight 190 pounds you have a BMI of 29.8 which is considered overweight and just on the edge of being obese, which starts at a BMI of 30. Someone who is 6 foot 6 inches and weighs 190 pounds would only have a BMI of approximately 25.5, where as someone who is only 5 feet and 190 pounds is off the charts or greater than 37 in BMI terms.

You can look all of these terms and BMI indexes up on the internet and we encourage everyone to take a moment to consider what their BMI is and what they can do about it in terms of losing weight.

One word of caution. If you are an athlete and have lots of muscle with low body fat, BMI may give you an erroneous indication, since muscle weighs more than fat. Also if you are an older person with lean muscle mass and more fat, you might show a lower BMI when really you are overweight.

Waist Circumference is Another Indicator

If you have a higher BMI and your waste size is larger than 35 inches you are at risk.This is a greater indicator of being at higher risk of heart disease and also diabetes. Men tend to store much of their excess fat around the waist. So this becomes a good indicator of how much you are at risk especially if your BMI is also high.

Imagine if you could extend your life by 4 or 6 years and be able to see your daughter married, perhaps hold your grand kids or do some of the things you always dreamed about in retirement. You can do all of these things or at least increase the probability that you will be able to if you lose weight and get your BMI and waist circumference in line with more normal levels for your height. Don’t wait, get a plan together and get started now!

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