Staying healthy is always a good idea, but for adults with obesity, it may not be enough to prevent obesity-related diseases.
This conclusion comes from a recent study led by Nathalie Rassy, Ph.D., from Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou in Paris, and was published in JAMA Network Open.
Understanding the Study
The study looked at how living a healthy lifestyle affects the risk of obesity-related diseases in adults with obesity versus those of normal weight.
For this study, the researchers analyzed data from 438,583 participants from the U.K. Biobank.
These individuals, ranging in age from 40 to 73 years, didn’t have any major obesity-related diseases when the study began. They were followed for about 13 years.
The researchers considered four healthy lifestyle factors: not smoking, exercising regularly, moderate or no alcohol consumption, and eating a healthy diet.
The results showed that compared to adults with obesity who didn’t follow any of these healthy lifestyle factors, those with obesity who did all four had a lower risk for several diseases.
These included hypertension, ischemic heart disease, arrhythmias, heart failure, arteriosclerosis, kidney failure, gout, sleep disorders, and mood disorders.
The healthiest lifestyles were a combination of a good diet, regular physical activity, and never smoking.
However, it was also found that adults with obesity had a higher risk for several outcomes, regardless of their lifestyle score.
This ranged from a 41% higher risk for arrhythmias to a more than seven-fold increased risk for diabetes compared to adults with normal weight, even when following all four healthy lifestyle factors.
What does all of this mean? It seems that while living a healthy lifestyle is beneficial, it doesn’t completely cancel out the health risks that come with obesity.
So, while not smoking, eating well, drinking in moderation, and staying active are all good moves, they might not be enough on their own to prevent obesity-related diseases.
This isn’t to say that these healthy lifestyle factors aren’t important—they absolutely are.
But this study suggests that, for individuals with obesity, additional interventions might be needed to manage the associated health risks.
In other words, while staying healthy is a good start, more may be needed to truly combat the health risks of obesity.
If you care about weight loss, please read studies that hop extract could reduce belly fat in overweight people, and early time-restricted eating could help lose weight.
For more information about weight loss, please see recent studies that the Mediterranean diet can reduce belly fat much better, and the Keto diet could help control body weight and blood sugar in diabetes.
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