Evidence suggests that a significant difference exists between regions in England. By 2050, estimates suggest that 70% of women in Yorkshire and Humberside will be obese, whereas in other regions such as the south-west of England it will be 7% (Fig. 13).
Overall life expectancy is expected to rise 8 years for males and 7 years for females by the mid-21st century17. However, the increased prevalence of obesity may have long-term ramifications for this trend among young adults and children. If the prevalence of obesity increases as predicted, females will lose around a fifth of a year and males around a third by the middle of the 21st century18. Therefore, the rising trend for obesity will significantly affect the health of the population as well their contribution to the economy and society4. Concomitantly, health care costs and the rates of diseases/conditions caused and influenced by obesity will increase. These are further downward drivers life expectancy19.
Sarcopenia is a condition of age-related loss of muscle mass and strength and is a common problem in old age. Evidence suggests that older people with sarcopenia and obesity have worse physical function than those with sarcopenia alone. Such effects on disability and quality of life may not just be additive but synergistic28–30.
In the United Kingdom, it is estimated that each year 9000 premature deaths are due to obesity, accounting for 8.7% of all deaths31. It is highly associated with other health problems and diseases leading to disability and in many cases death (Fig. 14)32. Because obesity rates vary among different ethnicities, the diseases associated with it may result in health inequalities (Figs. 13, 14)33. Among adults the most common chronic conditions associated with obesity include: arthritis, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes34. We have talked about the impact on preconceptual and pregnant women elsewhere35.
The result of these associations is that the relative risk of death increases with BMI in a nonlinear manner (Table 1)36.
CHD susceptibility increases 2–3 times more in obese adults. It is estimated that obesity accounts for 5% of CHD deaths in men and 6% in women40. If the obesity trend continues, it will increase from 10% in 2010 to 20% in 203541.
Obese adults are 40% more likely to die from cancer than nonobese. Post menopausal obese women also have a higher risk of developing breast and endometrial cancers41. Although both obese men and women have a higher risk of developing cancers of the esophagous, colon, rectum, kidney, pancreas, thyroid, and gallbladder, cancer due to obesity accounts for 14% of deaths in men and 20% in women42. Obesity has been considered as the most important avoidable cause of cancer in nonsmokers, as proposed by Professor Julian Peto43. A recent survey showed that, although obesity is the main preventable risk factor after tobacco, only 3% of the UK population knew that cancer is associated with obesity44.
The authors declare that they have no financial conflict of interest with regard to the content of this report.
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