It’s widely acknowledged that obesity is one of the biggest public health risks facing developed nations around the world. Being severely overweight often leads to a number of health problems, which can sometimes cut lives short.
New research in the UK that studied 2.8 million adults found that obesity can increase your risk of dying prematurely from any cause by up to 50 per cent, as well as significantly increase your risk of developing a number of conditions.
The study found that those with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 to 45 had a 50 per cent higher risk of dying prematurely than their peers in a healthy weight range. The NHS defines a healthy BMI as a figure between 18.5 and 25.
People with a BMI of 30 to 35 had a 70 per cent higher risk of developing heart disease than their counterparts of a healthy weight, while the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is nine times higher for people with a BMI of 35 to 40.
Those in the 40 to 45 BMI range are 12 times more likely to develop the condition, meanwhile, while they also have triple the risk of heart failure, high blood pressure and having abnormal levels of cholesterol and other fats in the blood.
Author Christiane Haase, from Novo Nordisk in Denmark which sponsored the study, commented: “With the number of people living with obesity almost tripling worldwide over the past 30 years (105 million in 1975 to 650 million in 2016), our findings have serious implications for public health.”
The researchers got their data from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink, covering more than 18 years of data, running from January 2000 to July 2018.
However, the BBC noted that the authors acknowledge there are limitations in their study, namely that all of the participants needed to have seen their doctor and had their height and weight recorded for a reason and that other unmeasured factors may have influenced the results.
They added that their findings “show observational differences” and that more research needs to be done to identify cause and effect.
Nutrition lead at the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Victoria Taylor told the news provider: “More than a quarter of UK adults (28 per cent) are obese and it’s something we urgently need action on.”
As well as causing issues for people when they’re alive, the rising rates of obesity can also make things more difficult when someone passes away.
For example, they may need a larger coffin, and there can be additional challenges with transporting their body to be cremated. You may need to organise an obese cremation if the person in question is over 28 inches wide or more than 24 stone in weight.
One way to keep the cost of the funeral down is to choose a direct cremation. This will include collecting the deceased, a simple wooden coffin and transport to the crematorium, as well as the cremation itself. Family and friends will be asked whether they would like the ashes to be scattered, or returned to them so that they can scatter them.