A study presented at the European Society of Cardiology’s annual meeting found that overweight individuals with even slightly raised blood pressure, cholesterol, or glucose levels are close to a third more likely to die early.
Those individuals – who are considered to have metabolic syndrome – are also a third more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke over the next 30 years, according to the research.
The first step toward solving this crisis is eliminating the stigma that obese people feel and encouraging them to seek help. Doctors must be more aggressive in making sure their patients don’t suffer in silence, and treatment can take several steps, including introducing medications to supplement lifestyle changes.
While treatment is undoubtedly part of the equation, there must be a renewed focus on prevention. This includes identifying the many underlying causes of obesity and encouraging personalized diet plans based on each individual’s behavioral and biological specifications. The continued search for a silver-bullet cure will only see what is now a pandemic expand even further.