Obesity Decreases The Odds

McClinton/Getty Extra weight in middle age can have a dramatic effect on women's health as they grow older, according to new research.

McClinton/Getty Extra weight in middle age can have a dramatic effect on women's health as they grow older, according to new research.

There is the saying the health of a nation is the wealth of a nation. According to reports from the experts, non-communicable diseases (CNCDs) are on the rise globally, of more concern to Barbadians is the more significant rise occurring in developing countries. It is not our approach to this subject to be judgemental, we all have our challenges with balancing our lifestyles and healthy living.

What cannot be denied is the rising number of CNCDs in Barbados  according to the periodic reports we get from our officials. Concern by the former government forced the establishment of the National Task Force on CNCDs which was established to produced a policy document for the prevention and control of CNCDs. Among the recommendations were:

  • The establishment of a Health Promotion Unit.
  • The establishment of the post of Senior Medical Officer of Health (CNCDs).
  • The establishment of a National Commission on CNCDs.

Despite the task force initiative our country continues to struggle with perpetuating a culture of healthy living. We understand Barbados currently occupies the highest category for incidence of diabetes and obesity.

To arrest the problem calls for a lifestyle adjustment which maybe a cry in the wilderness based on how our society continues to develop i.e. proclivity for fast food, foods infected with preservatives, driving instead of walking etc. The greatest irony for the BU household continues to be the rising number of CNCDs as we boast of achieving first world status in 2025. What yardstick are we using to measure success?

Yet another study has been released by the medical fraternity which predicts a sorry outcome for people who surrender to the battle of the bulge. The study used females to feed its research, we hope our resident medical expert Dr. GP can validate whether we can extrapolate the findings to include men.

Women who are overweight in middle age are 80 percent less likely to be healthy later in life: study

Obesity is a “significant factor” in predicting how long a person will live, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, and the University of Warwick in Coventry analysed data gathered since 1976 from more than 17,000 female nurses living in 11 US states.

They found that women who were obese in middle age had 79% lower odds of healthy survival compared with women who kept their weight at a healthy level.

The study also found that putting on weight from the age of 18 until middle age was a predictor of how long women would live in good health.

For every 1kg increase in weight gain since age 18, the odds of healthy survival decreased by 5%, the researchers said.

Women who were overweight at age 18 and gained 10kg of weight to middle age had particularly low survival – reduced by 82% – compared with women who were lean and maintained a stable weight.

Obesity was defined as having a body mass index (BMI) over 30, while lean women had a BMI of 18.5 to 22.9.

At the start of the study, nurses filled in questionnaires on their lifestyles, weight and height and history of disease. They were questioned again every two years for more than a 20-year period, providing updates on their health as well as weight and current lifestyle. Any reported illnesses were checked against medical records and other data.

The experts classed people as healthy if they reached the age of 70 or older while being free from major chronic diseases and associated surgery: cancer, diabetes, heart attack, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, congestive heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

110 thoughts on “Obesity Decreases The Odds

  1. That last line re cod liver oil slipped in accidentally, or maybe ‘it was supposed to?’.

  2. @ Not True
    The precursor to cholesterol is mevalonate which is made from acetyl Co A units.

    How would oats soak up mevalonate acid?
    How would oats be a cholesterol preventor?
    Would not using oats when metabolized produce the same acetyl Co A units that contributes to the synthesis of cholesterol in the body?

    Re cholesterol being eliminated by bile…..
    • Cholesterol is also abundant in bile where the normal concentration is 390 mg/100
    • Only 4% of cholesterol in bile is esterified to a long-chain fatty acid.
    • Bile does not contain appreciable amounts of lipoproteins and solubilization of free cholesterol is achieved in part by the detergent property of phospholipids present in bile that are produced in liver.
    • Bile salts, which are metabolites of cholesterol, also aid in solubilizing cholesterol in bile.
    • Cholesterol also appears to protect membranes of the gallbladder from potentially irritating or harmful effects of bile salts.
    • The ring structure of cholesterol cannot be metabolized to CO2 and H20 in humans. Rather, the intact sterol ring is eliminated from the body by:
    • 1- conversion to bile acids, which are excreted in the feces, and
    • 2- secretion of cholesterol into the bile, which transports it to the intestine for elimination.
    • Some of the cholesterol in the intestine is modified by bacteria before excretion. The primary compounds made are reduced derivatives of cholesterol—that is, coprostanol and cholestanol, the only difference between these two isomers being the orientation of the hydrogen atom between the A and B rings.
    • Together, these three compounds make up the bulk of neutral fecal sterols.
    • The end products of cholesterol utilization are the bile acids, synthesized in the liver.
    • Synthesis of bile acids is one of the predominant mechanisms for the excretion of excess cholesterol.
    • However, the excretion of cholesterol in the form of bile acids is insufficient to compensate for an excess dietary intake of cholesterol

    During digestion, bile salts break down (emulsify) nonpolar fat globules, aiding in digestion and absorption of dietary lipids.
    • Bile acids perform four physiologically significant functions:
    • 1. their synthesis and subsequent excretion in the feces represent the only significant mechanism for the elimination of excess cholesterol.
    • 2. bile acids and phospholipids solubilize cholesterol in the bile, thereby preventing the precipitation of cholesterol in the gallbladder.
    • 3. they facilitate the digestion of dietary triacylglycerols by acting as emulsifying agents that render fats accessible to pancreatic lipases.
    • 4. they facilitate the intestinal absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

  3. Re
    I cannot believe that you don’t know that egg white is full of cholesterol

    Actually egg whites are composed mainly of albumin, which make up the serum proteins that bhave a very useful function in the body.

    In my view throwing away egg whites is nonsense, to say the least. It is certainly a very good source of protein!

    And what is so wrong about cholesterol? Does it not have multiple essential functions in the body.

    See power point on FUN WITH CHOLESTEROL to be posted.

  4. MME is most certainly correct when he posits that

    1- “The yolk is certainly the most nutritional part of the egg,….”

    2- “- the egg white does not contain any cholesterol. All of the cholesterol in an egg is contained in its yolk. The yolk also contains virtually all of the saturated fat found in an egg.” Saturated fat is good fat. You need a little bit I your diet.
    3- “- neither the yolk nor the egg white turn into a chick. They both provide nutrition to the embryo (if the egg is fertilised), which ‘turns into’ a chick.”
    Only if an egg is fertilized can it turn into a chick. Unfertilized eggs are useless for reproduction.
    4 “- The egg white contains more protein than the yolk. Approximately 57% of an egg’s protein is in the egg white.”
    5 “- The yolk contains three times as much energy (or calories) than the egg white.


  5. Dear Georgie Porgie:

    Black eye peas and rice and okras and chicken baked without the skin ok for Sunday lunch?

  6. Crusoe
    Vitamin D, like ‘A’ is indeed a fat soluble oil-soluble, unlike B & C, water-soluble.

    Vitamin D toxicity, which occurs with high doses (> 250 ~g/day in adults, 25~g/day in children).

    Excess vitamin D ingestion (i.e., taking too much) may lead to the following conditions:

    a. Hypercalcemia due to enhanced Ca++ absorption and bone resorption
    b. Metastatic calcification in soft tissue
    C. Bone demineralization
    d. Hypercalcuria, resulting in kidney stone formation

    Vitamin D is highly toxic at consumption levels that continuously exceed 10 times the RDA, resulting in hypercalcemia. Unlike water-soluble vitamins, which are excreted in excess amounts, vitamin D can be stored in liver as 25-hydroxycholecalciferol. The excess vitamin D can promote intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphate.

    The direct effect of excessive vitamin D on bone is resorption similar to that seen in vitamin D deficiency. Therefore, the increased intestinal absorption of calcium in vitamin D toxicity contributes to hypercalcemia.

    Rather than helping the symptoms of osteoporosis, a large amount of vitamin D can contribute to it.

    Hypercalcemia can impair renal function, and early signs include polyuria, polydipsia, and nocturia.

    Prolonged hypercalcemia can result in calcium deposition in soft tissues, notably the kidney, producing irreversible kidney damage.

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