We’ve known for awhile that being overweight or obese rockets your risk of premature death. But some recent research puts that fact into perspective in a very sobering way. According to this new study, obesity is second only to smoking as a cause of mortality in both Europe and North America.
Researchers from 300 different institutions in 32 different countries recently teamed up to establish what they call the Global BMI Mortality Collaboration. This huge investigation looked at data from nearly 4 million participants of close to 200 studies.
The goal was to get an accurate, standardized, birds-eye view of the true associations between BMI and mortality across the globe. And, well… the results were every bit as terrifying as you might expect.
For one thing, they found that people with a BMI over 25 — that’s not even obese, but simply overweight — suffer a much higher risk of death by any cause. (And especially from heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, and cancer.)
Even more striking? Roughly one in six premature deaths could potentially be prevented just by losing a few pounds.
Overall, these researchers traced mortality back to excess weight in 19 percent of North Americans, 16 percent of Australians and New Zealanders, 14 percent of Europeans, and 5 percent of East Asians.
How has it come to this?
We took the dangers of cigarette smoking very seriously. And we’ve put a major dent in both the numbers of people who smoke — as well as smoking-related mortality rates — because of it.
When, exactly, are we going to do the same thing with foods that are unhealthy? Because the fact is, your eating habits can murder you.
I realize that the definition of “healthy” has been hard to pin down. We live in a world where one day something is good for you… and the next day it’s not. But there’s not a person on this planet who can argue that sugar — much less high fructose corn syrup — is a health food.
And it’s way past time people started to treat it like the hazardous substance it is. That’s the only way we going to escape this sinking ship. In the meantime, I predict it won’t be long before obesity becomes the leading cause of premature death.
But it’s 100 percent preventable.
Call me crazy, but I would rather live longer than eat a cupcake. And if you think I’m immune to this struggle, think again. (I was faced with this very dilemma today!) I’m human, too. And I know as well as anyone how strong the pull of sugar can be.
But facts are facts. And I repeat, one in every five deaths in North America could be prevented simply by stepping away from the ice cream.
Sure, you can split hairs over the value of the BMI as a measure of healthy weight. (I certainly do.) But you still can’t really argue with the results. No one can look at this study and honestly say that public health officials should just continue standing idly by while America eats itself to death. Or that we somehow need more evidence in order to start enacting some serious policy changes.
And yet, as a society, we react to findings like this with defensiveness in place of common sense. Call it “skinny shaming” — where thin people can’t sit down to a meal without being told to “just eat a cheeseburger.”
Labeling larger clothing sizes with smaller numbers is another way we try to convince ourselves that we don’t have a problem. There’s no end to the mental gymnastics and denial at work. And it’s killing us.
The reality is that obesity is not normal and it’s not healthy. It is a medical crisis. We can stick our heads in the sand over it all we want. But if you want to stay alive, you’re going to have to face the music…and drop the weight, once and for all.
But you don’t have to do it alone. I’m here to help you every step of the way. And the best place to start on this journey is with my complete Metabolic Repair Protocol. It will set your body, your blood sugar, and your weight on the path to lasting, healthy success. You can learn more about it or enroll today by clicking here.