Obesity is a Bigger Risk Factor for Death than Smoking in UK

Risk Factor for Death

No matter what and how are you smoking but it is going to cause dangerous interactions inside the body. But these dangers are far less dreadful than obesity, making it a bigger risk factor for death. The new study reports that overweight and obesity are behind more deaths reported from the UK as compared to deaths by smoking in the last seven years. The complete study results are now published in the BMC Public Health (2021) and are openly available to view.

In England and Scotland, the death rate caused by smoking has been reduced from 23.1% and reached 19.4% from 2003 to the year 2017. On the other sides, deaths caused by obesity and overweight have significantly increased from 17.9% in 2003 to 23.1% in 2017, making it a bigger risk factor for death. The research team has estimated that these deaths caused by obesity have superseded the deaths caused by smoking that were reported in 2014.

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Smoking has been associated with major health dangers and interactions for which it has received all the attention from health bodies, agencies, and public health programs which were focused to reduce this number, hoping to save more people. Because of all these efforts, the smoking rate has gradually decreased in the UK and fewer people are into smoking now than there were some years ago.

But the incidence of obesity, during this same time, has significantly risen. According to this current study, from the year 2014, obesity is behind more deaths than those which are linked with smoking, making obesity the biggest risk factor for death in the UK.

Hoping to find out more about these changes, the research team went through all the data which was collected from 2003 to 2017, from the database of Health Surveys for England, as well as Scottish Health Surveys, two national database centers. They came across at least 192,239 adults residing in the UK and the average age of these participants was 50 years.

All of these people confirmed smoking every day. Based on the data collected from these people the research team estimated the death rate from smoking, based on 17 studies and by excessive body fat based on 198 studies to get an average.

They found that obesity-linked deaths and excessive fat-linked deaths were higher in number especially among older people since 2006. On the other side, the risk of death by smoking was higher than obesity but most of its targets were younger adults.

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Based on this information, the authors of this current study suggest that people over 65 years of age, who are obese, or fat were more likely to die as compared to people who died of smoking complications.

This increase in deaths by obesity over deaths by smoking is most likely to be true for cancer and heart patients. These findings are sufficient to suggest the public policy departments introduce obesity-centered policies. The reduction in smoking levels represents that national strategies were helpful to address the issue. Using the same way, obesity, as well as excessive body fat, should also be focused on, especially among the middle to the old age group who are at a higher risk of death.


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