Extra pounds, fewer years

Overweight and obesity can take up to eight years off life due to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. After quitting smoking, losing weight is really THE resolution to adopt to improve your health from all points of view

Formerly marginal phenomena, overweight and obesity have experienced a phenomenal increase over the last quarter century. Being too fat has now become something completely “normal”!

However, being overweight is, from a physiological point of view, a totally abnormal state, a major imbalance of the organism which imposes enormous constraints on the whole of the human body.

Just as we worry (with good reason) about the appearance of a growth on any part of our body, excess fat, especially in the abdomen, should be seen as a signal to ‘alarm, the visible manifestation of profound changes in the balance of our vital functions which increase our risk of being affected by several serious illnesses.

Obesity: 8 years less of life

The negative impact of being overweight on health is well illustrated by the results of a study conducted by a team of scientists from McGill University. Following a careful analysis of the incidence of type 2 diabetes and heart disease that preferentially affects overweight people, they observed that excess fat was associated with a significant decrease in life expectancy. life, especially when the extra pounds start piling up early in life.

“Excess pounds, less years”

This effect is particularly pronounced in the morbidly obese (BMI > 35), who lose up to eight years of life, but is also observed in all categories of overweight people, even those who are only overweight (BMI > 25). The study also shows that excess fat is associated with a significant deterioration in quality of life, with very obese people losing up to 19 years of healthy life, an even more dramatic reduction than that resulting from smoking. . Overweight and obesity therefore constitute a major health problem, responsible in itself for a significant reduction in life expectancy and quality of life.

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Obesity: increased risk of breast, endometrial and colon cancer

The increased risk of certain cancers is another factor that contributes to the negative impact of overweight on life expectancy. A recent study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) estimates that overweight and obesity are responsible for 3.6% of all new cases of cancer affecting adults, representing almost half a million people affected worldwide.

Women are particularly vulnerable, overweight being associated with a significant increase in endometrial, colon and breast cancers (postmenopause). In men, cancers of the colon and kidney alone account for two-thirds of cancers linked to overweight. According to the authors, at least a quarter of these cancers, or 100,000 cases, could have been prevented if people had simply maintained a normal body weight.

Although we place great hope in the discovery of new drugs capable of curing heart disease, diabetes and cancer, we must never forget that a large part of these diseases are linked to our way of life. A simple reduction in body mass can have a dramatic impact on the incidence of these diseases and save countless lives. Losing weight is not a question of appearance, but rather of health.


Grover SA et al. Years of lifeost and healthylife-years lost from diabetes and cardiovascular disease in over-weight and obese people: a modeling study. Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology,

Arnold M et al. Global burden of cancer attributable to high body-mass, a population-based study. Lancet Oncology,


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