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Teenage Obesity Increases Risk For Multiple Sclerosis

Posted Nov 10 2009 12:00am

Medical experts have known that excess weight negatively impacts your health as you age. However, new evidence shows that your weight as a teenager influences disease states as you age. New research involving 238,371women shows that those that were obese at age 18 are more than twice as likely to develop multiple sclerosis (MS) as adults compared to female teens who are not obese. The research study found that women who had a BMI of 30 or higher at age 18 had more than twice the risk of developing MS compared to those with a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9. Those women in the overweight category of BMI 25-29.9 were also more likely than those of normal weight to develop MS. There are several theories on how obesity can cause MS. Higher levels of vitamin D in the body are thought to reduce disease risk. People who are obese tend to have lower vitamin D levels compared to people who are not obese. In addition, fatty tissue produces substances that affect the immune system and certain types of cell activities that are thought to be associated with MS. More studies will be done but prevention of obesity is critical

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