Many people spend the holidays (regretfully) over-indulging themselves on cookies, sweets and carbs.
And while there’s definitely a time and place to celebrate, you’ll want to consider changing your ways and cutting back on these tempting, bad-for-you foods.
That’s because, according to new research, previous studies have actually been underestimating how harmful being overweight is for the body.
Researchers from the University of Bristol in the U.K. have been studying the link between BMI and a person’s risk of death. They’ve been accomplishing this by digging into the health records of over 32,000 mother-child pairs and of over 27,000 father-child pairs.
These pairs were chosen because the illnesses that parents have do not have an affect on the BMI of their adult children.
Knowing this reduces certain issues that have arisen in previous research that merely correlates BMI with risk of death (which often have very misleading results).
Upon examining the BMIs of young children, the researchers came to a startling conclusion. The harmful impact of having a high BMI were higher and more significant that previous studies have shown.
This drastic underestimation of how being overweight damages the body has been misleading the public for years. As Medical News Today states:
Lead study author Dr. David Carslake, senior research associate in the MRC IEU, says, “An alarming increase in obesity levels across the world which have risen from 105 million in 1975 to 641 million in 2014, according to a recent Lancet study, create concern about the implications for public health.”
“This study demonstrates that correlation is not causation and that when it comes to public health recommendations we need to be cautious interpreting data based on associations alone,” he concludes.
“We found that previous studies have underestimated the impact of being overweight on mortality and our findings support current advice to maintain a BMI of between 18.5 and 25.”
– Dr. David Carslake