A new study has claimed that the current method for measuring obesity is underestimating the problems associated with being extremely overweight. Scientists now argue that, rather than just assessing the severity of weight, the length of time it persists is a better measure of obesity.
The long-term research, which was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, states that for each extra decade of living with obesity could more than double the risk of death and recommends a new measure for obesity, called an “obese year”, which helps to provide an estimate of the associated health risks involved.
It was found that the duration of obesity has a direct effect on death risk, regardless of factors such as age or the extent of the obesity. It was also revealed that death risk increased by 7 per cent for every extra two years of obesity for respondents with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater. In addition, being obese for about 15 to 25 years was seen to more than double the death risk as compared to people who have never been obese.
The report stated that, “for every additional 10 years lived with obesity, the risks of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality more than doubled, implying that the risk of mortality associated with current obesity in adults might be significantly higher than in previous decades.”

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