Obesity Beats Smoking as Top Health Risk

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Researchers from Columbia University and the City College of New York say that obesity causes as much or more disease than tobacco. One of the reasons is that while smoking rates are beginning to decline, obesity is on the rise and actually shortens as many or even more lifespans than smoking.

The study, conducted over 15 years, was based on interviews with more than 3.5 million people and calculations of the number of “quality-adjusted life years” (QALYs) lost to obesity and smoking. Between 1993 and 2008, smoking in American adults declined by 18.5 per cent, while the proportion of obese people increased by 85 per cent, the study says.

According to the researchers, overall, smoking caused more deaths but obesity has a greater impact on illness. Obesity leads to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, joint issues and many more problems.

Poor diet and sedentary lifestyle are obvious reasons for the obesity increase. We should be looking at the cause and not just the symptoms. Yes, we need to treat diabetes and heart disease, but how do we treat obesity? I know we have all heard this before, but we all need to move MORE and eat LESS..

MORE means at least 30 minutes per day of activity: walking, swimming, playing Wii. If you have been inactive for a while, and have a condition that may restrict exercise, talk to your doctor about what steps you could take to increase your activity level.

LESS means less sodium, trans fats, sugar, caffeine and refined carbohydrates. All these things are hard not only on your waistline, but also on your liver.  Eat a variety of colorful fruits and veggies.  Ellen’s blog will give you some great tips.

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March 2023