Science and Health

Severe Obesity Might Reduce Lifespan Up To 14 Years

Researchers evaluated 20 studies and found people with body mass index over 40 were more likely to die early from heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Severe Obesity Might Reduce Lifespan Up To 14 Years
Getty Images

It seems like every week we're learning about a new study revealing the negative health effects of obesity — and this week is no different.

A new study published in the journal PLOS One looked at 20 previous studies in Sweden, Australia and the United States.

Researchers found people with a body mass index above 40 — deemed severely obese — were more likely to die early from heart disease, cancer and diabetes compared to people with normal weight, with as many as 14 years cut off the average lifespan. (Via Euronews)

The study also concluded these deaths from obesity were similar to the increased death rate among normal-weight smokers. (Via Getty Images)

The lead researcher, who works at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, told HealthDay, "Death rates in severely obese adults were about 2.5 times higher than in adults in the normal weight range."

The researchers said they tackled extreme obesity specifically because it's becoming a "major public health problem" — particularly in some high-income countries, though it used to be pretty uncommon.

For example, in the United States six-percent of all adults are now classified as Class III or morbidly obese. And that's a big figure compared where it was three decades ago. (Via Getty Images)

Bariatric News shows a recent study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America's Health that found a huge 350% jump in severe obesity over the the past 30 years while normal obesity has somewhat leveled off.

But future generations might have it a little better. CBS reported in February that healthier habits and smarter parenting are helping kids buck the trend.

"Number one: more women are breast feeding. ... We're taking in fewer sugary drinks, but also there's been a huge amount of public awareness which has improved activities for kids both at home and in day care."