Even If You Lose The Weight, Obesity May Still Impact Your Health

By: Agata Blaszczak Boxe
Published: 01/06/2016 02:21 AM EST on LiveScience

People who have been overweight or obese at any time during their lives may be more likely to die early, even if they lose weight later, a new study suggests.

Among the people in the study, those who had ever been overweight were 19 percent more likely to die during the 23-year study period, compared with those who had never exceeded normal weight.

Those who had ever been obese (with a body mass index, or BMI, from 30.0 to 34.9) were 65 percent more likely to die during the study than those who had never exceeded normal weight. And those who had ever been severely obese (with a BMI of 35.0 or above) were nearly 150 percent more likely to die during this time period than those who remained in the normal weight range.

The new study “sheds light on the need for greater efforts to stem the obesity epidemic,” said study author Andrew Stokes, of the Boston University School of Public Health. [The Best Way to Lose Weight Safely]

In the study, the researchers looked at the BMIs of more than 6,000 Americans who were between 50 and 74 years old when the study began, in 1988. In addition to looking at the participants’ current BMIs, at the time of the start of the study, the researchers looked at the history of the individuals’ lifetime BMIs. This approach differs from that of previous studies that have looked at the relationship between a person’s BMI and their risk of early death, the researchers said. Those previous studies tended to consider people’s BMIs at only a single point in time, the researchers said.

“Imagine if you compared nonsmokers to smokers,” Stokes said. “If there are former smokers in the nonsmoking group, it —> Read More

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