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Just A Little Extra Weight Poses Risk for Diabetes and Other Problems

We often hear that living a long life depends on trying to stay in shape, eating nutritious food and maintaining an ideal body weight. Despite this advice, many of us carry around just a few extra pounds and think that it poses minimal risk to our health.

Obesity increases your risk for multiple chronic diseases, including:

  • Type-2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Hypertension
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Certain cancers

A recent study published recently in a the New England Journal of Medicine followed 1.5 million people to determine whether or not just a little extra weight on our bodies can contribute to factors of metabolic disorder such as heart disease, diabetes, vascular disease and high blood pressure. In the past some studies have suggested that being a little overweight was actually a benefit rather than a hindrance to long life.

The recent study that evaluated mostly Caucasian people, pooled study data from 19 other studies and screened out those who were smokers and those who had life threatening diseases such as cancer. The data was streamlined to focus on only body weight as a factor. Results showed that people with an elevated BMI or Body Mass Index, which is the measure of height and weight were 13 percent more likely to die during the time they were studied than those who had a normal BMI.

When looking at the results of a study such as this, it is important to keep in mind the steps we may take to live a healthier life. Weight loss goals can be attained through proper diet and exercise. When guidance is needed, physicians educated in bariatrics and weight loss surgery can provide options such as a physician guided weight loss plan as well as lap band surgery.

While this latest study stresses the importance of gaining control of our weight to avoid health risks, just east over the Georgia border at the University of South Carolina, researchers caution that more research needs to be done to confirm results of the study and its relation to physical activity and BMI. The message that is related to us is that we must get out and be active and get the proper exercise to work in tandem with a weight loss plan or weight loss surgery to be healthier in the long run.


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