Beware, being skinny could hasten one's death

Published: May 11, 2011
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Study suggests that increased metabolic rate speeds up the ageing process.

Study suggests that increased metabolic rate speeds up the ageing process.

LONDON: People who gobble up mounds of cakes and chocolates without piling on the pounds, beware. You may be hastening your own death, compared to those who burn calories more slowly.

These findings, based on a study of more than 600 volunteers, suggest that an increased metabolic rate actually speeds up the ageing process.

Animal experiments have shown that specimens that burn up energy more quickly tend to have shorter lives than animals who do it slowly, the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism reports.

Now US researchers have compared the metabolic rate and lifespan of 652 healthy Pima Indians in Arizona over a 21-year period, according to the Daily Mail.

The scientists from the National Institutes of Health measured how quickly the Indians’ bodies converted food into energy over 24 hours.

They also measured their resting metabolic rate, which is how much energy a body uses simply to keep the lungs and heart working. The research team said those Indians with a higher metabolic rate tended to die earlier.

Researcher Reiner Jumpertz said: “We found that higher endogenous metabolic rate – which is how much energy the body uses for normal body functions – is a risk factor for earlier mortality. This increased metabolic rate may lead to earlier organ damage.”

But the findings do not apply to energy burnt up by exercise. “This activity clearly has beneficial effects on health,” Jumpertz said.

And people with a slow metabolism who become fat are also unlikely to benefit because their obesity puts them at greater risk of dying from heart disease, stroke and cancer.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • May 11, 2011 - 6:24PM

    Getting skinny is absolutely a bad idea. Lately, another research report found thigh diameter related to diabetes, meaning that people with thinner thighs were more prone to develop diabetes mellitis. I think a balanced diet with a moderate amount of physical activity is the best way to a healthy life.Recommend

  • jamal shah
    May 12, 2011 - 9:10PM

    Oh my God! is there anything about which one can be fearless????Recommend

  • Shazia
    May 13, 2011 - 1:52PM

    means nobody is out of danger…. niether skinny nor obese:)Recommend

  • KK
    May 14, 2011 - 5:20AM

    the study is flawed as it failed to exclude smoking. In US, low BMI is associated with smoking so its the smoking that is causing the increased mortality and not the low BMI.Recommend

  • Khan
    May 14, 2011 - 3:50PM

    and here i was worrying about putting on weight.

    soooo what will not kill me early? being fat, being skinny or genetic probs. just live why worry about wwhen death is going to come!Recommend

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