PILING on too many pounds raises the risk of early death by up to half, a major study reveals.
Experts warn the shocking findings lay bare the “phenomenal” consequences of being too fat.
Two in three UK adults – more than 30 million people – are overweight or obese.
Caroline Cerny, from the Obesity Health Alliance, said: “These findings are hugely worrying. Obesity can have serious implications for long term health, making it all the more vital that we help people be a healthy weight.”
She called for urgent action to slash calories and sugar levels in common foods.
The study, presented at the world’s biggest obesity conference, followed more than 2.8 million middle-aged Brits over eight years.
EARLY DEATH DANGER
Scientists calculated the risk of 12 conditions based on people’s weight group – normal, overweight, obese, severely obese and morbidly obese.
It shows even a small amount of extra weight is enough to double the risk of type 2 diabetes or a deadly sleep disorder.
The study, by drugs giant Novo Nordisk, was presented at the European Congress on Obesity [must keep] in Glasgow.
It shows when BMI was between 30 and 35 – obese – the risk of diabetes was five times higher than slim adults, while the likelihood of high cholesterol and blood pressure doubled. The heaviest Brits had the worst outcomes.
Gel pill beats flab
A PRE-meal pill that helps fill the stomach could soon double tubby Brits’ chances of losing weight.
The capsule, swallowed with water, contains thousands of gel balls that expand in 20 minutes to fill a quarter of the stomach.
The natural gel is harmless and is later excreted.
US-made Plenity could be available over the counter here as early as next year.
Those with a BMI over 40 – morbidly obese – saw their chance of early death rocket 50 per cent, and were 22 times more likely to suffer deadly sleep apnoea compared to slender adults.
Nick Finer, senior scientist at Novo Nordisk and honorary professor at University College London, said: “The ‘real worldness’ of this research makes it really compelling.
“These are phenomenal risk factors – a twelve-fold increased risk for type two diabetes is staggering. GPs not wanting to broach the issue of being overweight is still an issue.”
Experts warn medics must act sooner to stem the tide of ill health triggered by excess lard.
Naveed Sattar, Professor of Metabolic Medicine, Glasgow University, said: “This report shows people carrying even a small amount of extra weight are at higher risk of conditions as diverse as heart failure, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis and sleep apnoea.
“The health profession needs to up its game in helping people improve their weight.”
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Ministers launched a controversial levy on sugary drinks to slash obesity last year.
And Public Health England want calories in popular meals – such as pizzas and burgers – slashed by 20 per cent in a bid to tackle the nation’s bulging waistlines.
Louis Levy, from PHE, said: “We’re working with industry to make food healthier, we’ve produced guidance for councils on planning healthier towns and we’ve delivered campaigns encouraging people to choose healthier food and lead healthier lives.”
Diet pop is fizzing
DIET fizzy drink sales have soared — thanks to the soft drink sugar tax introduced a year ago.
Sales of diet varieties bought from shops rocketed 13.8 per cent to 1.7 billion litres, a rise of 205 million litres in 12 months.
But sales of “full fat” versions fell by 8.8 per cent to 823 million litres, analysts Kantar say, but price rises meant sales still rose by £28.4million.