The amount of time that someone lives with obesity is directly associated with the risk of mortality, according to researchers.
Scientists at Monash University analysed data from the Framingham Heart Study and found that for people with a medium number of years lived with obesity (five to 14.9 years), the risk of mortality more than doubled compared to those who had never been obese.
Additionally, in participants who had been obese for more than 15 years, the risk was seen to almost triple.
Furthermore, for every additional year lived with obesity, the mortality risk increased by between six and seven per cent.
Researcher Dr Anna Peeters said: "Before now, we did not know whether being obese for longer was any worse for you health than simply being obese. However, this research shows for the first time that being obese for longer increases your risk of mortality, no matter how heavy you actually are."
This comes after news that two-thirds of patients with severe mental illnesses were found to be overweight or obese in a study published in BMC Psychiatry, indicating that people with these disorders are more likely to have bad physical health than those without.