Scientists: obesity similar to premature aging

Scientists: obesity similar to premature aging

Obesity can speed up a person's susceptibility to life-threatening diseases usually found in the elderly, according to a new study by Concordia University.

The study was led by Sylvia Santosa, associate professor of health, kinesiology and applied physiology in the Faculty of Arts and Science. She and her colleagues reviewed more than 200 papers that looked at obesity’s effects, from the level of the cell to tissue to the entire body. 

The study, published in the Obesity Reviews journal, finds that being overweight can increase a person's risk of type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease and cancer.  

"We are trying to comprehensively make the argument that obesity parallels aging. The mechanisms by which the comorbidities of obesity and aging develop are very similar," Santosa said.

Studies have shown that obesity-induced apoptosis has been seen in mice hearts, livers, kidneys, neurons, inner ears and retinas. Obesity also inhibits autophagy, which can lead to cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

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