How many times have you heard people say, “I’m overweight, fat or obese, but healthy?” They either truly believe this myth and/or nothing on the doctor’s chart is a red flag – yet.
According to a new study, obesity is deadlier than originally thought. Obesity causes about 10 percent of deaths in the United States. That is three times the number that we previously heard.
Naturally with 33 percent of us overweight and 35 percent obese the study has had some controversy. It was published in the American Journal of Public Health.
Researchers in this new study wonder how the government could underestimate this number. This is not the first time the government has been under attack regarding obesity in America. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) significantly lowered its estimates of obesity-related deaths in 2004 to 112,000 a year – a major drop from the 365,000 deaths the CDC estimated the year before.
Ryan Masters conducted this latest study at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at Columbia University. He claims that obesity is the cause of 20 percent of deaths among women and 15 percent of men. “We found that obesity indeed has a quite significant effect on mortality levels in the United States and estimates are actually significantly larger than prevailing wisdom has suggested,”
“Existing literature largely indicates roughly about 5 percent of all adult deaths in the United States could be associated with overweight or obesity,” Masters says. “What we find is that between the ages of 40 and 85 … about 18 percent of all deaths that took place between 1986 and 2006 could be said to be associated with high body mass.
Previous research has likely underestimated obesity’s impact on US mortality,” Masters and colleagues wrote.
One reason for the underestimation may be that the previous research leaves out people who are in hospitals and nursing homes" (perhaps independent, assisted living and memory care facilities as well). Source
Another reason is that obesity is not cited as a cause of death by the CDC, although the agency lists heart disease as the number one killer, causing around 598,000 deaths of the total 2.5 million Americans who died in 2010.
It is well-known that being overweight or obese significantly increases your risk of heart disease and other deadly illnesses and conditions, and more often than not, such people are do not exercise as much as their thinner counterparts.