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Dublin: 2°C Thursday 3 December 2020

1.8 million Irish adults could be at risk of dying 8 years before their time

Obesity could also lead to a person losing as much as 19 years of healthy living.

Image: Anna Wheeler

NEW RESEARCH INTO obesity has shown that it can take as many as 8 years off a person’s life.

It was also found that this could see these as many as 19 years lost as a result of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

In Ireland, where average life expectancy sits at 80.9 years, it means people could be losing 10% of their lifespan to obesity related conditions.

Across the country, 58% of people over the age of 20 are currently considered overweight or obese.

Of the 3.2 million people in this age bracket, around 1.8 million are at risk of dying early due to obesity related conditions.

The study, which was conducted by researchers at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, Canada, used data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. 

Number of years

It was also found that there was a correlation how much extra weight a person was carrying and the number of years their life would be reduced by.

For a person carrying between 25 and 30 additional kg on their BMI, they could expect to lose between 0 and 3 years of life expectancy.

Someone carrying between 30 and 35 additional kg, a loss of between 1 and 6 years of life expectancy could be expected and those overweight by more than 35 kg could expect to lose up to 8 years of life expectancy.

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It was found that the impact of carrying additional weight was most pronounced in young people and dropped with increasing age.


On the research, lead author and Professor of Medicine at McGill University, Dr Steven Grover, said:

The pattern is clear, the more an individual weighs and the younger their age, the greater the effect on their health, as they have many years ahead of them during which the increased health risks associated with obesity can negatively impact their lives.

It is hoped that the findings will lead to greater understanding of the correlation between obesity related conditions and weight reduction.

Read: Being fat is leading to more cancer – particularly for women

Also: Not lovin’ it: The slow decline of fast food in America

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