Changing the conversation about health

Obesity increases risk of disease and early death ‘significantly’, says new research

The impact on health of being overweight has been highlighted in a major new study, with Public Health England calling for ‘sustained action’ to tackle obesity going forward.

The research, which will be presented at the European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Glasgow, found that having a body mass index (BMI) of between 30 and 35 saw people at a 70 per cent higher risk of developing heart failure than those with a BMI between 18.25 and 25, which is considered healthy.

Being overweight increases the risk of serious disease and early death, according to a major new study that looked at the weight and BMI of 2.8million people in the UK

And even being overweight by a minimal amount saw the risk of Type 2 diabetes dramatically increase by double.

Leading the study was Christiane Haase, of healthcare firm Novo Nordisk, which sponsored the study.

She said the findings from the new research were worrying: ‘With the number of people living with obesity almost tripling worldwide over the past 30 years (105 million people in 1975 to 650 million in 2016), our findings have serious implications for public health.’

Even a BMI of 25 to 30 increased the risk of heart failure by 20 per cent, research found

Nearly 2.8 million people were surveyed about their weight in the study which made the following key findings:

  • Those with a BMI of 40-45 were 12 times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes and had a risk of sleep apnoea that was 22 times greater
  • People with a BMI of 35-40, the risk of Type 2 diabetes was almost nine times higher, and 12 times higher for sleep apnoea
  • People with a BMI of 40-45 had triple the risk of heart failure, high blood pressure, and dyslipidaemia (abnormal levels of cholesterol and other fats in the blood)
  • BMI of 40-45 was also linked to a 50 per cent higher risk of dying prematurely from any cause