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Obesity a Bigger Killer Than First Thought

August 27, 2013

A study spanning 20 years has revealed that approximately 18% of deaths in the US were linked to individuals being overweight and obese - far higher than previous estimates of around 5%. The findings were reported in the American Journal of Public Health and were based on data from a national survey spanning from 1986 to 2006. It was also shown that a greater proportion of women than men died as a result of their excess weight, with more than one in four deaths of black women and more than one in five deaths of white women shown to be weight related.

Obese woman eating a burger

In contrast, the proportion was just 5% of black men and 15% of white men. The leader of the study, Dr. Ryan Masters of Columbia University, New York, said: “Obesity has dramatically worse health consequences than some recent reports have led us to believe.

“We expect that obesity will be responsible for an increasing share of deaths in the United States and perhaps even lead to declines in US life expectancy.”

UK obesity rates are currently lower than those in the US, but are not too far behind. In England, the proportion of men who are classified as obese rose from 13% to 24% between 1993 and 2011, while the proportion of women rose from 16% to 26% during the same period. Professor Bruce Link, also from Columbia University, and co-author of the study, said: “A five-year-old growing up today is living in an environment where obesity is much more the norm than was the case for a five-year-old a generation or two ago. “Drink sizes are bigger, clothes are bigger, and greater numbers of a child's peers are obese. “And once someone is obese, it is very difficult to undo. So it stands to reason that we won't see the worst of the epidemic until the current generation of children grows old.”

Upon hearing the results of the study, Lee Smith, Managing Director of FORZA Supplements, said: "These findings should not come as a shock to either the American or British public. "For many years we have been warned of an obesity epidemic, and now it is finally here. "People need to educate themselves on food and nutrition, take part in more exercise and also consider supplements to help them achieve their body goals."

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