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Here’s the deal: we all know that being overweight is bad for our health.

The condition is linked to a number of chronic diseases like cancer, type two diabetes, and heart disease never before seen in the epidemic proportions they’re found in today.

Despite this knowledge, healthcare professionals still lack a useful measure of just how much excess weight affects our bodies as our BMI climbs higher. A recent study with findings published in December of last year has begun trying, though, and the results certainly aren’t comforting.

Dr. Steven Grover, et al. have developed a disease simulation model designed to estimate risk, year by year, of diabetes, heart disease, and death for people in four groups: ideal BMI, overweight, obese, and very obese. They used data from over three thousand participants of the same race. After running each projection, the team estimated the number of healthy years people lost, figuring out just how much time extra weight was cutting from their overall lifespan.

Here’s what they found: the more excess body weight you have, the more at risk you are for top chronic diseases, and the more years you lose. The study also found that young people experienced the most impact from obesity. In other words, years of life lost from excess weight decreased with age.

It broke down like this:

In older obese men, .8 years were lost on average. But for younger obese men, the average number grew to 5.9. In very obese older men, an average of .9 years were lost. In very obese younger men, the number jumped to 8.4 years lost. Results were nearly the same for women. Surprisingly, merely overweight lifespans were barely affected by extra pounds.

The research applies a new—and crucial—frame of reference for the effects of obesity on our bodies, but the search for knowledge on the subject certainly isn’t new.

In a 2010 study on obesity by researchers at the National Cancer institute, obese people were actually at higher risk of death. The study pooled data from 19 earlier obesity studies that included 1.46 million men and women who were between the ages of 19 and 84. During the ten-year study period, overweight women were 13 percent more likely to die when compared to women of healthy weight. Researchers found that likelihood of death increases with excess weight, much in the same way that years of life lost increases. As it turns out, moderately obese and severely obese women are 44 to 88 percent more likely to die.

It’s the same story all over again for men.

With summer well on its way, weight loss is on a lot of our minds. Meeting your goals and rocking that bikini just might give you a few more summers to enjoy, so maybe this is your year to slim down and secure a healthy future in the many, many summers to come.

Not sure how to start? Schedule a free consultation with us! Call 608-274-2225, or shoot us an email at


*Results may vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as typical. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.