Obesity is three times as deadly for men than women
Piling on the pounds is three times more deadly for men than women and even being slightly overweight raises the risk of dying early, the biggest ever study into weight and death has shown.
Obese people can expect to lose three years of life while the average overweight person will die 12 months sooner than they would have if they were a healthy size, researchers at Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard universities found.
Usually fewer than one in five men will die before the age of 70, but that jumps to nearly one in three for the moderately obese, and eight in 10 for the morbidly obese.
In contrast around one in 10 women can expect to die early, with obesity raising the risk to one in seven. While obesity raises the risk of early death by just three per cent for women, it is 10 per cent for men, more than three times as much.
“We found that men who were obese were at much higher risk of premature death than obese women,” said Dr Emanuele Di Angelantonio from the University of Cambridge.
“This is consistent with previous observations that obese men have greater insulin resistance, liver fat levels, and diabetes risk than women.”
Around 61 per cent of adults are currently overweight or obese and the average weight of Britons has been steadily increasingly since the 1970s.
In 1975 the average Briton had a BMI of 23, which is considered a healthy weight. But today that has risen to 27, with the average person now overweight. It means that since the 1970s, every person in Briton has roughly gained more than three pounds (1.5kg) per decade.
Ten types of cancer are linked to excess weight which can also lead to Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and a range of other health problems.