Nav: Home

Study shows that controlling or 'wiping out' obesity and excess weight could avoid substantial numbers of premature deaths

April 30, 2019

New research presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Glasgow, UK (28 April - 1 May) shows that controlling or wiping out obesity and overweight would have a substantial impact in reducing premature deaths from non-communicable diseases, which is also a key target outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals. The study is by Niels Lund, Novo Nordisk, Denmark and Associate Professor Laurie Twells, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John's, NL, Canada, and colleagues.

Obesity is a major contributor to premature mortality from the four major noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), namely cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, and diabetes. Globally, NCDs account for 41 million deaths annually and 15 million of these are premature (occurring in people aged between 30 and 70 years). Furthermore, according to data from the Global Burden of Disease study, high BMI directly accounted for 4 million deaths in 2015 (in adults aged 25 years or older)1.

In addition, NCDs pose a substantial economic burden to society. The achievement of the 'Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 3.4' of reducing premature mortality from NCDs by one third by 2030 from 2016 levels (the year the SDG targets were rolled out) requires intensified reduction in rates of obesity. The aim of this study was to illustrate the projected impact of BMI on NCD-related premature mortality in 2030 in five high-income and upper-middle- income countries: United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, Denmark and Mexico.

The researchers developed a BMI mortality model based on population projection data on age and gender distribution in the 5 countries2 with an assumed linear continuation of current BMI trends and applied associations between BMI and premature mortality from NCDs3. The model was reviewed by independent experts within the field of obesity and health economics. The model compares three future scenarios for 2030: linear growth scenario (current BMI levels extrapolated linearly using extrapolation from the trend in the years 2000-2014); status quo scenario (current BMI levels remain unchanged until 2030), and no excess weight scenario (assuming no one will have BMI above 25 in the year 2030).

When compared to the linear growth scenario, the status quo scenario resulted in the following decrease in premature NCD-related deaths by 2030: 5% decrease in Brazil, Denmark, and Mexico, 6% in Canada, and 7% in United Kingdom. In contrast, if there is no overweight or obesity by 2030 (no excess weight scenario) premature mortality will decrease by 25% in Brazil, 26% in Denmark, 28% in Mexico, 30% in Canada, and 31% in United Kingdom.

The authors say: "This study provides important evidence on the extent to which excess BMI impacts the premature mortality from NCDs in selected countries. Addressing the growing burden of obesity is critical to achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and requires timely and evidence-based measures to halt the rise and increase prevention and care efforts."

They add: "While eliminating excess weight is a highly hypothetical scenario, it shows the great impact obesity has on premature NCD deaths and what can be gained even by keeping obesity at today's rates until 2030."

Premature mortality in 2030 for all scenarios can be found in the link to the poster

European Association for the Study of Obesity

Related Obesity Articles:

Changing the debate around obesity
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) needs to do more to address the ingrained stigma and discrimination faced by people with obesity, says a leading health psychologist.
Study links longer exposure to obesity and earlier development of obesity to increased risk of type 2 diabetes
Cumulative exposure to obesity could be at least as important as actually being obese in terms of risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D), concludes new research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]).
How much do obesity and addictions overlap?
A large analysis of personality studies has found that people with obesity behave somewhat like people with addictions to alcohol or drugs.
Should obesity be recognized as a disease?
With obesity now affecting almost a third (29%) of the population in England, and expected to rise to 35% by 2030, should we now recognize it as a disease?
Is obesity associated with risk of pediatric MS?
A single-center study of 453 children in Germany with multiple sclerosis (MS) investigated the association of obesity with pediatric MS risk and with the response of first-line therapy in children with MS.
Women with obesity prior to conception are more likely to have children with obesity
A systematic review and meta-analysis identified significantly increased odds of child obesity when mothers have obesity before conception, according to a study published June 11, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine by Nicola Heslehurst of Newcastle University in the UK, and colleagues.
Obesity medicine association announces major updates to its adult obesity algorithm
The Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) announced the immediate availability of the 2019 OMA Adult Obesity Algorithm, with new information for clinicians including the relationship between Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Dyslipidemia, and Cancer; information on investigational Anti-Obesity Pharmacotherapy; treatments for Lipodystrophy; and Pharmacokinetics and Obesity.
Systematic review shows risk of a child developing overweight or obesity is more than trebled by maternal obesity prior to pregnancy
New research presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Glasgow, Scotland (April 28- May 1) reveals that the risk of a child becoming overweight or obese is more than trebled by maternal obesity prior to getting pregnant.
Eating later in the day may be associated with obesity
Eating later in the day may contribute to weight gain, according to a new study to be presented Saturday at ENDO 2019, the Endocrine Society's annual meeting in New Orleans, La.
How obesity affects vitamin D metabolism
A new Journal of Bone and Mineral Research study confirms that vitamin D supplementation is less effective in the presence of obesity, and it uncovers a biological mechanism to explain this observation.
More Obesity News and Obesity Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Clint Smith
The killing of George Floyd by a police officer has sparked massive protests nationwide. This hour, writer and scholar Clint Smith reflects on this moment, through conversation, letters, and poetry.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at