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Mar 15

Obesity and Lifespan

weight lossIn 2014 Americans could expect to live an average of 79 years, almost twice the life expectancy of those born in the 1800’s. For decades, average life expectancy had grown year after year, but recently this has not happened! Why?

The prestigious scientific organization, the National Academy of Science (the NAS), pointed to obesity as one of the causes’ in its weekly publication. One of the NAS published proceedings contains an article titled, “The role of obesity in exceptionally slow US mortality improvement.” This is their conclusion –

“…The increase in BMI has reduced life expectancy at age 40 by 0.9 years in 2011 and accounted for 186,000 excess deaths that year. Rising BMI has prevented the United States from enjoying the full benefits of factors working to improve mortality.”

From the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 1-16-2018

The statement about life expectancy at age 40 should get your attention. The reduction of .9 years is for the average person, including normal weight, overweight and obese Americans. For a person with morbid obesity, the expected reduction in life span is certainly greater. In fact, the National Institute of Health estimated in 2014 that obesity was responsible for a 14-year reduction in overall life expectancy. That’s a loss of 5,114 days of life!

Read our past article, “Obesity and Lifespan,” to find out how obesity shortens life expectancy and what can be done about it. If you have any question about laparoscopic surgery, especially bariatric surgery, please contact our office. You may use Contact Dr Birkedal or phone us at (386) 210-9794. Our offices, located in Daytona, New Smyrna and Palm coast are all part of the AdventHealth Medical Group.

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