More people than ever dying of obesity-related illness

If the “news-flash” headlines this new study is generating shock you, you haven’t been paying attention.

The big revelation? More people are dying from obesity-related causes than ever before.

I know. Not exactly surprising. But still, if it gets people to pay attention to obesity’s far-reaching and devastating effects, I can get behind it.

This study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), found that the worldwide death rate related to high BMI rose by almost 20 percent between 1990 and 2015. During the same time, disability linked to high BMI increased more than 35 percent.

Even worse, 4 million deaths could be attributed to those extra pounds, the study found. Of those, 70 percent were from cardiovascular disease.

Here’s why it’s not surprising: We keep villainizing the wrong foods while we let the real culprits take over our lives. Just look at the American Heart Association statement I wrote about last week, which once again wasted ink talking about saturated fats. All the while ignoring the elephant in the room — sugar.

The reason we’re in such dire straits today is that decades ago, government agencies and health “advocacy” groups started the low-fat craze, driving people straight into the arms of the eager and waiting “sugar lobby.” These policies were based on forged science. Even though that’s been cleared up, the low-fat mentality is so ingrained within society that even so-called “health experts” don’t believe that fat isn’t the problem. And, to make matters worse, they still haven’t wrapped their heads around just how damaging sugar is. So we’re still suffering from the misguided policies that began plaguing us decades ago.

These new statistics from the NEJM are showing just what a hefty price we’re paying as a result.

And it’s only going to get worse. In 2015, more than 100 million children and 600 million adults around the world were obese. That’s 5 percent of kids and 12 percent of adults who are not just overweight, but obese.

Big Pharma and Big Agribusiness are good at “getting them while they’re young.” This is a proven method of creating habits and dependencies. And our health agencies let them get away with it, by agreeing with whoever lobbies the loudest (and doles out the most generous “donations”).

So far, the obesity rates are increasing faster than disease rates, but give it time. With more and more children crossing the threshold into obesity, we can expect chronic disease rates to skyrocket. And the diseases we used to see only in older adults will be spread across all age groups. We’re already seeing that with type 2 diabetes, joint and bone problems, and more.

We’re looking at a population who is going to be sentenced to more years struggling with obesity, and the damaging illnesses it causes.

All this because we can’t seem to quit sugar. And the organizations charged with protecting our health are still stubbornly maintaining their outdated and inaccurate positions on nutrition.

It’s time to stop waiting for powers-that-be to make decisions that will improve your health. The choice is yours: Eat healthy or die younger. I know what I choose.