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Obesity and longevity
Obesity and longevity

SHA Magazine SHA Magazine

Obesity and longevity

SHA Wellness Clinic
October 29, 2013

Obesity and life expectancy

Today we share from the hand of Dr. Vicente Mera the relevant facts and figures about the relationship between overweight and premature mortality. Taking care of our nutrition and our weight is essential to prevent disease so we can live more and better in a healthy way.

Health and overweight

Obesity causes serious damage to the health of the sufferer, but is not when you get to be obese than the problems begin. Simply earn a few kilos to start gradually increasing the health risk, therefore should take steps to reverse the situation as soon as possible.

There is a direct relationship between weight gain and the development of associated diseases and premature death. The mortality rate of people with severe obesity is 29% higher compared to normal weight individuals.

The Body Mass Index (BMI)

To establish the relationship is necessary to calculate the weight function of the size. The Body Mass Index (BMI) is calculated dividing weight in kg by the square of height in meters. It is considered normal to have a BMI between 20-25 kg/m2. Overweight begins when exceeding 25 kg/m2, simple obesity with BMI higher than 30 kg/m2 and morbid obesity if over 35 kg/m2. The cardiovascular mortality increases progressively as does the BMI.

Obesity risks

Morbidly obese patients have a risk between 2 and 3 times higher than normal people of suffering important disease such as cardiovascular problems.

Life expectancy starts to decrease significantly from the first excess. In people with morbid obesity, life expectancy it is reduced to 12 years in women and 16 in men, reason why only one in ten obese achieves normal life expectancy.

Between 30 and 42 years, an increase of only 500 grams in body weight can mean an increase of 1% in the risk of death. After age 42, the risk would increase to 2%. Gain only some kilos may worsen our health considerably.

Obesity and genetics

Obesity is a complex problem that is compounded by many factors, one of which is our genes. Research scientific studies with mice have shown that caloric restriction can lower cholesterol and blood pressure, which often are considered biomarkers of aging. In addition, these studies show that calorie restriction (defined as consuming 30 to 40% less calories than the normal average daily intake) can activate the SIRT1 gene, a member of a family of seven genes associated with longevity. That is, it has been shown that eating less we will live longer.

Scientists at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) have discovered that one of the main genes that protect against cancer also has two positive effects on the body: increases longevity and combat obesity. The result after five years of research has been published in the latest edition of the prestigious journal Cell Metabolism.

Cancer and aging, and now obesity, are different manifestations of the same phenomenon, more global, which occurs as the body accumulates in their tissues damage natural repair mechanisms fail to fix.

Weight gain and serious diseases

The risk of type 2 diabetes doubles when you start to gain weight likewise increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

When the weight starts to rise, kidneys, liver, pancreas and heart are subjected to extra effort to perform their normal functions. The liver and kidneys must remove as many toxins as we consume, pancreas must secrete more insulin, and heart must pump more blood. This is how diseases like kidney failure, diabetes and heart failure appear, among others.

How to increase life expectancy

However, it is possible to reverse the situation. Just return to normal weight rates, these problems can be kept under control and regain our health. But once obesity has advanced, we can suffer some irreversibly damage so you have to act quickly. We must feed properly and exercise daily to keep our weight.

Just a few extra kilos can make the difference between health and disease.

*Article written by Dr. Vicente Mera, PH in General Medicine and Preventive Medicine in SHA Wellness Clinic.

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