There are so many unhealthy habits that we can, unfortunately, pick-up all too easily. Drinking, smoking, and overeating can all be extremely dangerous to your health. What's really more unhealthy, lighting up a pack of cigarettes per day or packing on a few extra pounds? New research conducted by the National Cancer Institute in Maryland indicates that both may be equally as hazardous for your health. Just as cigarettes can shave years off of your life, obesity can do the same.
For a long time, being overweight was considered to be more of a cosmetic or vanity issue opposed to an actual health concern. This was until researchers started discovering that fat cells were not cells that did absolutely nothing. Instead, these fat cells were performing actual functions throughout the body. More specifically, fat cells were releasing hormones that were interfering with the body's immune system. These hormones were harming the body's ability to fight off foreign invaders – including cancer cells.
The negatives of packing on extra pounds do not stop at the body's immune system. Obesity is also associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, reproductive problems, gallstone and more.
Scientists calculated the number of years lost from a person's life from morbid obesity. This was calculated based on BMI or basal metabolic index. For instance, an individual with a BMI between 40 and 44.9 has the potential to lose 6.5 years from their life. A BMI of 45 to 49.9 has the potential to lose 8.9 years from their life. Individuals with a BMI of 50 to 54.9 could potentially lose 9.8 years of life. For those with a BMI of 55 to 55.9, the potential loss of years can range from 10 to 13.7 years.
Researchers also uncovered that men who were extremely obese had a higher death rate than women who were extremely obese. (856 deaths compared to 663 in deaths per 100,000 per year). Comparing this to those with a normal BMI, there were only 347 deaths in men and 281 deaths in women. Researchers have found these findings to be quite significant when it comes to obesity and loss of life.
What's the Solution to Our Obesity Problem?
It is important to remember that this is not the only study that demonstrates a correlation between certain unhealthy habits and early death rates. It seems people are ignoring the dangers of obesity. The one thing that this study did not consider is that other causes of disease and death that traditional medicine is not taking into consideration.
Some believe that one of the reasons for such prevalence when it comes to obesity is major changes to our food supply. Medical doctor William Davis, who is a cardiologist and author of the bestseller, Wheat Belly, indicates that genetically modified wheat ends up causing an addiction-like substances that are active in the brain. This is related to the desire to continuously eat more and more wheat. This does have the potential to contribute to morbid obesity; especially since the glycemic index of wheat is high and the food contributes to higher than usual release of insulin each time wheat is consumed. This release of excess insulin has the potential to cause diabetes.
What Can You Do to Help Keep Obesity Away?
The answer may just be as simple as take care of yourself. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help to keep you at a healthy weight. Receiving routine medical care can also help to prevent and detect disease.
To stay on top of the latest changes occurring in society, consult your chiropractor. Your chiropractor has an extensive background in a wide-variety of health-related concerns. Your chiropractor likely attends regular conferences and continuing education to help them stay on top of all the latest issues that may affect your health; including obesity. Your chiropractor will be happy to share information with you and develop a plan so that you are leading a healthy lifestyle.
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