Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Study: Obesity Ages Your Body By Eight Years

This Medical News Today story is about some British doctors who have found there is a direct link between obesity, smoking and accelerated aging. They published their findings at The Lancet on Tuesday.

The study acknowledges that there are many risk factors for various diseases, primarily obesity and smoking. However, the doctors from St. Thomas' Hospital in London wanted to know if there was a molecular degeneration of the cells of obese smokers that would cause them to age faster than their non-smoking, thinner counterparts.

The study examined 1122 British women between the ages of 18-76. Of the women observed, 119 of them were obese (BMI over 30) and 85 of them were thin (BMI under 20). At the same time, 531 of the participants were nonsmokers and never smoked, 369 previously smoked and 203 were current smokers.

Looking at the length of their telomeres, the protectors of the chromosomes in our cells which shorten over time and because of health choices, as well as a body fat regulator called leptin, doctors noticed that the telemores of the obese smoking women were much shorter than those who are skinnier and have not smoked in their lives.

Interestingly, the findings found that obesity annually ages the body by 8 years and smoking (either previous or current) increases your body's age by 4-6 years.

"Our results emphasise the potential wide-ranging effects of the two most important preventable exposures in developed countries- cigarettes and obesity," said Professor Tim D. Spector who conducted the research.

So here is more evidence of the effects of obesity and smoking on our general health. What are we going to do about it? Probably nothing. Until we become so serious about coming up with solutions to these problems that we are willing to look at every possible solution, nothing will be done. The time is NOW!


Blogger Levi said...

While this is an interesting study, it belies the current assumption by most obesity "experts" that obesity in and of itself is an issue. I believe that while it can be when someone is so obese that it interferes in their life by causing back pain, etc., really obesity should be seen as a symptom rather than a disease itself. It's a symptom primarily of insulin resistance. There have been studies done that show that there are plenty of obese individuals who do not have the health risks that are normally associated with the condition. To me this indicates there's something wrong with the supposition that obesity is what causes these risk factors but rather other underlying issues (insulin resistance) which causes these other risks as WELL as obesity...

6/23/2005 11:36 AM  

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