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Obesity will kill you faster than smoking?!?!

Posted Jan 07 2010 4:08am


Imagine what happens if you are obese AND you are a smoker?

I’ve personally known Jonny Bowden since 2006 and I’ve always been very impressed with his approach to health and I always look forward to what he has to say and what I can learn from him.

It’s no surprise that at this time of the year a lot of people are trying to either lose weight, get fit or quit smoking.

Those are traditional New Year resolutions that usually quietly die by Valentine’s Day.

If you’ve watched the latest “The Biggest Loser” season 8 series, you’ll know that losing weight is becoming less and less of an option (it’s darn right mandatory) for a lot of people who are tipping the scale at more than 400 lbs.

I mean Danny, the winner of “The Biggest Loser” season 8 series, managed to lose 239 lbs (from 430 lbs and now weighing 191 lbs) and in the process was able to sleep in the same bed as his wife after suffering from sleep apnea for eight long years and having to sleep on a reclining chair in his living room!!!

>>> Here’s Danny, the winner of “The Biggest Loser” season 8 series

I think that most people should not have “losing weight” as a New Year resolution, but it should be a life or death decision … because unfortunately it’s becoming just that for soooooooooooo many Americans.

I’ve had a few posts in the past on the urgency to take control of the major obesity problem in North America, but Jonny Bowden has been attacking the problem head-on for a long time now.

>>> In fact if you haven’t yet, I encourage you to read one of the most-read articles on this site: Overeat and your brain will want more!

He recently wrote an article based on new findings from the New England Journal of Medicine where it’s become quite clear that the obesity problem in America is at alarming rates since it’s now official that obesity WILL kill you faster than smoking!

As I ask in the opening of this article, imagine if you are obese and smoke. I’ve seen it with my own two eyes and Dr. Oz and his team are now working with Steve, dubbed the “Unhealthiest Person in America” who is scarily overweight and has an addiction to nicotine (he’s a heavy smoker).

>>> If you missed that episode on Dr. Oz, here’s a quick video summary:

>>> Here’s Jonny Bowden’s explanation as to why obesity will kill you faster than smoking:

The New England Journal of Medicine did some fancy statistical footwork and looked at how many years the average person is likely to gain in life expectancy from declining smoking rates. They then plugged in average years lost from rising obesity rates.

For the first time ever, obesity won and now presents a greater threat to life expectancy in America than smoking does.

Let’s say obesity and smoking rates had held steady. In that case, an average 18-year-old would expect to gain about 2.98 years in life expectancy over a 15-year period, largely due to a 20% reduction in smoking over the past 15 years.

But a 48% increase in obesity wiped that out. Instead of an increase of almost 3 extra years of life, the average 18-year-old can expect less than a year.

So it’s not that life expectancy is expected to fall. It’s still rising. But it’s rising only a fraction of what it would have if it weren’t for obesity.

“We know that the effects of obesity are not quite as intense as the effects of smoking, but obesity is more widespread,” said Susan T. Stewart, PhD, of Harvard. “It was a little discouraging to see that obesity was winning.”

There’s been about a 1.4% decrease in smoking rates per year in the 15 years prior to 2005. But trends show that from 1971-2006 there’s been an average 0.5% increase per year in Body Mass Index.

Assuming trends continue, 21% of current smokers are expected to quit by 2020.

Unfortunately, the number of “normal weight” Americans is expected to drop by 35% during the same time frame. By 2020, a whopping 45% of Americans are expected to be clinically obese.

Bottom line: the effects of obesity now exceed the effects of smoking on life expectancy.

The researchers cautioned that these kinds of “population-type forecasts” don’t apply at the individual level to people who quit smoking or lose weight.

Do both, and you can really reduce the likelihood of being a medical statistic.

>>> More about Dr. Jonny Bowden:

If you know you need to lose weight, and you’ve tried and failed at diets in the past (who hasn’t?), then I strongly urge you to check out Jonny Bowden’s Diet Boot Camp!

You’ll find more details here if you’re ready to change your body: Jonny Bowden’s Diet Boot Camp!

>>>> You can also read this latest post: Jonny Bowden’s Diet Boot Camp – eight weeks to a leaner and healthier body

Photo by Tobyotter

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