A new study has warned that overweight people are more likely to develop multiple sclerosis.
Individuals who are obese in early adulthood face a heightened risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS), according to the research conducted by Dr Brent Richards of the Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital, Quebec, Canada and colleagues.
The team carried out a Mendelian randomization study in large population datasets to investigate whether genetically determined obesity was associated with an increased risk of MS. They found that a change in body mass index from overweight to obese (equivalent to an average size adult woman increasing in weight from 150 to 180 pounds) was associated with an increase of about 40% in the risk of MS.
“These findings may carry important public health implications because of the high prevalence of obesity in many countries” noted the authors, adding, “Because the median age of onset for MS is 28-31, these findings should provide motivation to combat increasing youth obesity rates by implementing community and school-based interventions that promote physical activity and nutrition.”