Does a healthy diet counter the higher CVD mortality rate related to obesity?

Obesity is a global problem among both children and adults and it is not confined to one particular country. Decades ago, it is said, it was  more prevalent among the developed countries than others. We  are well aware of what obesity is.   It is a medical condition that occurs when an individual  has excess weight or body fat that might induce other health problems on the side lines. Normally, people with  a high body mass index  tend to be obese. BMI Body mass index is a  widely used  tool by  physicians to assess persons' obesity,  taking into act the appropriate weight for their age, sex, and height. The measurement combines height and weight. If a person has a  BMI between 25 and 29.9 it means he is carrying excess weight quite in appropriate for his age and height. People  with a BMI of 30 or over are said to  be obese. Other  equally important factors  are equally are the ratio of waist-to-hip size (WHR), waist-to-height ratio (WtHR); the amount and distribution of fat in the body   play a role in determining how healthy a person’s weight an

A recent study by Karl Michaëlsson of Uppsala University, Sweden, and his  colleagues suggested the link between diet and obesity and  they emphasized the value of healthy diet to counter the bad-effects of obesity. The team recommended  a healthy quality ''Mediterranean-like diet'' to prevent obesity and cardio-vascular mortality.

The news  that roughly 4 million people died in 2015 alone world-wide  due to high BMI and more than two thirds of deaths were  caused by cardio-vascular diseases (CVD)  must be looked upon seriously,  .  The researchers are of the opinion that the risks of high BMI  and CVD can be reduced if there is a modification of dietary habits among the people. The study covered  a survey of 79,003 Swedish adults enrolled in the Swedish Mammography Cohort and Cohort of Swedish Men  whose diets were analyzed in details over a long period. Their intake of Mediterranean-like diet (mMED) was assessed on a scale of 0 to 8 and the incorporated information included  intake of fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, unrefined or high-fiber grains, fish, red and processed meat, and olive oil. Of course other essential factors included were  age, physical activity, smoking and socio-economics of the cohort participants.

In the long follow-up of  over 21 years  30,389 (38% of participants) died. Among overweight individuals -  the group with the lowest hazard ratio (HR) of all-cause mortality were those with high m MED (HR 0.94; 95% CI 0.90-0.98   as against  those with normal weight and high m MED).  Higher mortality rate was not observed among obese individuals  with  high m MED in comparison with  those having normal weight and high m MED (HR 1.03; 95%CI 0.96-1.11). People with a normal BMI but low m MED had a higher mortality (HR 1.60; 95%CI 1.48-1.74) than those with normal weight and high m MED.  As for or CVD mortality of 12,064   deaths, the findings were broadly similar. An interesting fact emerging from the study is  the reduction of  CVD morality associated with high BMI  and  it was due to strictly following a Mediterranean diet. The lower BMI did not counter the elevated CVD mortality associated with a low m MED.

The study reveals, " ....  adherence to healthy diets such as a Mediterranean-like diet may be a more appropriate focus that avoidance of obesity for the prevention of overall mortality," the authors say. "Nonetheless, a healthy diet may not completely counter higher CVD mortality related with obesity."

Journal Reference:

Karl Michaëlsson, John A. Baron, Liisa Byberg, Jonas Höijer, Susanna C. Larsson, Bodil Svennblad, Håkan Melhus, Alicja Wolk, Eva Warensjö Lemming. Combined associations of body mass index and adherence to a Mediterranean-like diet with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality: A cohort study. PLOS Medicine, 2020; 17 (9): e1003331 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1003331

"Does a healthy diet counter the ill-effects of obesity?." ScienceDaily, 17 September 2020.