There is almost always some driving force that triggers a person to take the plunge and commit to losing weight. They reach a point where the joy of overindulging in their favorite foods no longer trumps the painful losses that being overweight may bring about. Such painful feelings of loss can come from simple things, like not fitting into a favorite pair of jeans or an insensitive comment made by a well-meaning friend.
While these hurtful sources of motivation should not be discounted, perhaps the more ominous knowledge that excess weight could rob a person of precious years of their life will more likely motivate certain people to take action.
Research recently conducted at McGill University in Montreal, Canada concluded that obesity can reduce a person’s life expectancy by up to eight years. This study published in the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology found that not only can being overweight decrease the overall lifespan, but it can also reduce the number of healthy years a person lives by as many as nineteen years. Proportionately, it was found that overweight and obese people lost two to four more years of healthy living compared to those who had a healthy weight, which is defined as 18.5-25 body mass index (BMI).
This same study identified a correlation between the age at which a person became overweight and the impact on overall health and lifespan. “The pattern is clear,” said Dr. Steven Grover, lead author and Professor of Medicine at McGill University, in the published study. “The more an individual weighs and the younger their age, the greater the effect on their health, as they have many years ahead of them during which the increased health risks associated with obesity can negatively impact their lives.” Dr. Grover also stated that “In terms of life-expectancy, we feel being overweight is as bad as cigarette smoking.”
As you consider your motivations for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, consider the potential impact that not losing weight may have upon both the length and quality of your life. According to research, by taking control of your weight you can live both a longer and healthier life.
Medifast Centers can help you successfully navigate the challenges of losing and maintaining weight. Because Medifast was developed by doctors, their programs are safe and effective for people with a variety of health conditions. Let your caring and supportive Medifast counselors help you take charge of your weight and your life!