A new study, which involved 2.8 million people in the UK, has highlighted the implications of obesity.
Researchers discovered that people with a BMI of 30-35 had a 70% higher risk of developing heart disease than those with a healthy BMI of 18-25. Even those with a slightly high BMI were up to 50% more likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes, and the risk was nine times higher in those with a BMI of 35-40 and 12 times higher for those with a BMI of 40-45.
The study findings, which are due to be presented to the European Congress on Obesity, also revealed that people who are overweight and obese have a significantly higher risk of sleep apnoea and high blood pressure. Data analysis confirmed that those with a BMI of 40-45 were 22 times more likely to suffer from sleep apnoea and three times more likely to experience heart failure and high blood pressure. People whose BMI was between 40 and 45 were 50% more likely to die prematurely than those with a normal BMI.
Christine Haase, study author, said that the number of obese people has tripled in the last 30 years, so the study findings are crucial for shaping policies and identifying solutions to tackle the crisis. To obtain the results, the research team analysed data from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink, evaluating information from more than 2.8 million adults over an 18-year period.
Currently, more than a quarter of UK adults are obese and many more are overweight, and nutrition lead at the British Heart Foundation, Victoria Taylor, has called for “urgent action” to bring rates down and encourage healthier lifestyles.
Most experts agree that the best ways to lose weight sustainably are to combine healthy eating with frequent exercise.