A new study has found that moderately obese people are likely to die three years earlier than those who have a normal body weight, while those who are overweight are likely to die a year earlier.
For men the situation is more dire: overweight and obese men at the age of 70 are three times more likely to die prematurely than women, said the study.
The study looked at the Body Mass Index (BMI) of the participants to determine obesity and being overweight.
The BMI classifies overweight individuals as those who have a BMI of 25 to 29.9. Those with a BMI of 30 to 35 and above are said to be moderately obese, while someone whose BMI is higher than 40 is classified as severely obese.
According to The Heart and Stroke Foundation, South Africa has the highest overweight and obesity rate in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the foundation, South African’s unhealthy lifestyles are partly to blame. South Africans eat too much, drink too much alcohol, and don’t move enough according to the foundation.
Being overweight and obese comes with a myriad of health problems. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says a high BMI puts you at risk of noncommunicable diseases.
“Raised BMI is a major risk factor for noncommunicable diseases such heart disease and stroke, diabetes; musculoskeletal disorders – especially osteoarthritis, and some cancers (including endometrial, breast, ovarian, prostate, liver, gallbladder, kidney, and colon),” it says.
The WHO recommends that adults between the ages of 18 to 64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week. Or you could do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.