Obesity is already recognized as one of the leading preventable causes of death from heart disease and diabetes, but it is also a key factor in sight loss, according to a report from the Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB) in Britain. "With the huge increase in obesity that we have seen in recent years, many people are now jeopardizing their sight in later life, "says RNIB eye health consultant Barbara McLaughlan.
The report highlights the increased risk obese people (those who have a body mass index, or BMI, of 30 or above) have of developing three major causes of sight loss - age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. In particular, the report states that obese people have doubled the risk of suffering AMD and cataracts, as well as 10 times the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
In addition to what the British researchers discovered, a study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology found that if you have been diagnosed with AMD, being overweight or obese could increase the risk that the eye disease will worsen.
In the study led by Dr. Johanna M. Seddon, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and director of the epidemiology unit at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, researchers followed about 260 patients over age 60 who had signs of mild AMD. They found that those who were overweight or obese were more than twice as likely than the thinner patients to have their macular degeneration progress to the advanced stage of the disease during the four-and-a-half year course of the study.
On the bright side, the researchers found that the patients who performed vigorous exercise at least three times a week had a 25 percent reduction in the risk that their disease would worsen. Furthermore, another study found that keeping an active lifestyle appears to reduce the risk of developing AMD, which gradually destroys the central vision of the eye.
In this study, Michael Knudtson and his colleagues at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health studied the impact of exercise on 4,000 men and women between the ages of 43 and 86. After 15 years, Knudtson, whose report was published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, found that engaging in an active lifestyle or walking more reduced the risk of developing AMD by 70 percent and 30 percent, respectively. So even though AMD is linked to aging, physical activity has a protective effect against it. Of course, a regular exercise program has already been found to be an effective treatment for type 2 diabetes, reducing the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.
You can take a simple step now to energize and protect your eyes with Dr. Cherry's Vision Support formula. It contains the 17 natural vitamins, minerals, herbs, extracts and other nutrients he recommends to help maintain healthy eyesight.