- Studies suggest that obesity reduces mortality
- A study was conducted compiling information from several researches to evaluate this theory in diabetes patients
- More such studies are required before this theory can be accepted or refuted
Obesity does not reduce mortality in young patients
with diabetes, suggested a research,
was published in the Journal of Diabetes
The link between obesity and disease conditions is well known. Obesity increases the risk for conditions like heart attack, heart failure, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and sleep apnea. The excess weight puts a lot of stress on the knees resulting in osteoarthritis. The increasing incidence of obesity in children is of particular concern and calls for remedial measures to improve the daily diet and physical activity of kids.
Obesity increases insulin resistance, that is, it reduces the effectiveness of insulin, and therefore predisposes to type 2 diabetes. In fact, regular exercise and weight reduction can bring the glucose levels back to normal in individuals with borderline diabetes.
The obesity paradox has been a point of discussion in the medical world in the recent years. The once dreaded obesity has been suggested to actually reduce the death rates as compared to individuals with normal weight.
Researchers studied if obesity could reduce death rates in patients with diabetes. They compiled information from twenty studies which covered around two hundred thousand patients. They found that:
- The risk for mortality from all causes was lesser in obese patients as compared to normal weight patients, though the result was not statistically significant.
- The reduced mortality in obese patients was applicable only for elderly patients and in studies with a follow-up period of less than 10 years
- The positive effect of obesity on mortality reduced on long-term follow-up
- Elderly people often suffer from conditions like high cholesterol levels and hypertension irrespective of whether they are obese or not. These disorders may not be so common in younger individuals with normal weight. Therefore, the adverse effect of obesity in younger individuals may be more obvious.
- In younger patients, factors like genetic factors and latent autoimmune diabetes in adults, may be present, which could worsen the outcomes in this population.
- The data is based on BMI which, as discussed above, cannot differentiate between weight due to fat or muscle. This could skew the results in such a study. Muscle mass actually reduces insulin resistance and improves diabetes. Such 'obese' patients may be healthy.
- They did not consider whether a weight change in a person could affect the risk of death
- The type of diabetes could not be confirmed in all the studies as type 2 diabetes
- The fitness levels of the individuals, whether young or old, was not ascertained in these studies
- Gao F. Impact of obesity on mortality in patients with diabetes: Meta-analysis of 20 studies including 250,016 patients 2017; DOI: 10.1111/jdi.12677
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Dr. Simi Paknikar. (2017, June 12). The Obesity-Mortality Paradox Re-visited. Medindia. Retrieved on Sep 28, 2022 from https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/the-obesity-mortality-paradox-re-visited-170796-1.htm.
Dr. Simi Paknikar. "The Obesity-Mortality Paradox Re-visited". Medindia. Sep 28, 2022. <https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/the-obesity-mortality-paradox-re-visited-170796-1.htm>.
Dr. Simi Paknikar. "The Obesity-Mortality Paradox Re-visited". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/the-obesity-mortality-paradox-re-visited-170796-1.htm. (accessed Sep 28, 2022).
Dr. Simi Paknikar. 2021. The Obesity-Mortality Paradox Re-visited. Medindia, viewed Sep 28, 2022, https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/the-obesity-mortality-paradox-re-visited-170796-1.htm.