Obesity Accelerates Aging

Obese individuals often aged faster, but their biological age was still lower in 2007-2010 compared to the 1988-1994 period. Reasons include greater use of interventions to treat pathologies related to excess body weight.

Reportedly the ageing is being associated with an increase in abdominal obesity, a major contributor to insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome, (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5005878/)

The increase in life expectancy is often accompanied by additional years of susceptibility to chronic ill health associated with obesity in the early thirties.

The difference between being obese and being lean corresponds to 8.8 years of extra ageing, a study has revealed.

@dalminana, @DidierC, what are your thoughts on this topic? Specifically, how high do you think obesity should rank in terms of priorities when we’re talking about extending lifespans?

I’m curious about the role of mental health and healthy lifestyle treatments in addressing the psychological aspect of obesity. What really works and what breakthroughs look promising to take us to the next level?

Scientific research in 2016, indicates that the psychological well-being of those living with obesity may be compromised due to “distress over obesity,” defined as “the degree to which an individual is concerned and unhappy about his or her body and the impact of excess weight.
Source: “It is not the diet; it is the mental part we need help with.” A multilevel analysis of psychological, emotional, and social well-being in obesity, Accessed on 23/03/2019

Hello, about obesity, it is like all aspects concerning the way of living. Very important for average lifespan ,if you have quite a bad behavior, less important if you have a more or less normal behavior and almost not important for maximal lifespan. And the big question to me is how to go further than the actual maximal lifespan.

Obesity is increasing in middle-aged adults and the elderly. This multifactorial phenomenon may have different causes, such as incorrect nutritional and dietary habits, psycho-social aspects and sedentary life-style. It is becoming a serious problem, due also to the world’s ageing society.
Today, obesity represents a worldwide phenomenon in all age groups and is pathologically and genetically correlated with several metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, representing the most frequent age-related diseases.
The increase in the prevalence of obesity currently represents a worldwide phenomenon, which is associated with several chronic diseases such as type-2 diabetes (T2D), cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis (OA), cognitive impairment and dementia, and those affecting the cardiovascular (CV) system.

The connection between obesity (defined as a BMi index of 30 or higher) and shortened lifespan applies most strongly in the context of metabolic dysfunction/disease (‘metabolic syndrome’) – particularly with regards to obesity-associated inflammation (OAI) which promotes inflammatory diseases such as Diabetes {type II} and cancer.

This inflammation is strongly correlated to the amount of White Adipose Tissue WAT). Interestingly, it was found that only 50% of obese individuals had this metabolic dysfunction (50% were “metabolically healthy” [Stefan et al, 2017]), whereas, some 20% of ‘skinny’/lean individuals had metabolic disease. So, while obesity/high percentage WAT is a major risk factor, it would seem not to be the direct or ONLY cause of the metabolic dysfunction (including insulin resistance) and inflammatory conditions. That said, OAI appears to “lower the epigenetic and mutagenic barriers to tumorigenesis” (noted for breast and pancreas cancers in particular [Seo et al, 2015; Incio et al, 2016, respectively]) – possibly by altering the extracellular matrix which supports the “oncogenic transformation” of precancerous tissue [Li et al, 2014; Bordonaro and Lazarova, 2015]).

There are more OAI research findings involving unchecked/over-activated immune system reactions (e.g., dysregulated increases in key Macrophage types, IL-5, neutrophils, cytokines, T reg cells [Quail et al, 2017]) as well as fasting’s positive effects on immune functioning (e.g., a reduction in T regs and increased lymphopoiesis which together promote greater Lymphocyte infiltration of tumors [Di Biase et al, 2016]).

Lastly, exercise (and the resulting increase in epinephrine) promote increased ‘immuno-surveillance’ and consequently suppress tumor incidence and growth in various cancer models [Pederson et al, 2016].

That said, as a cautionary tale, the use of certain immunotherapy regimens (to treat these conditions) has resulted in unchecked, lethal inflammatory responses [Mirsoian et al, 2014] – demonstrating that the linkage between obesity, the immune system, and disease (especially tumor immunology in an obesity context) still needs much additional research.

Main reference source: ‘Obesity and the tumor microenvironment’, Science, 1 December 2017; pp. 1130-1131

Metabolic syndrome, with its continually growing list of negative consequences, has made the biomedical community resistant to recognize benefits to patients that might accrue from obesity. This reticence is reflected in the growing use of the term “obesity paradox” when benefits are uncovered, especially those associated with the sterile injury.
Excess adiposity and its companion, metabolic syndrome, have well-deserved reputations as major detriments to health and longevity.
The body mass index and waist circumference are very inexact measures of visceral fat deposits and the associated metabolic syndrome. Further smudging of the relationship between BMI and metabolic syndrome comes from the sizeable ethnic variations and from distortions from aging, other diseases and medications. It is remarkable that the tightness of the linkage survives the many uncontrollable variables.

Source: Obesity Paradox, Obesity Orthodox, and the Metabolic Syndrome: An Approach to Unity

@ganesanv, @BobGilbert and @bwbolling, you may be interested in this discussion in our Longevity Community about the impact of obesity on aging. Please let us know what you think!