A study by researchers in the UK and Finland examined how likely people are to suffer from more than one health problem at once (multiple morbidity) dependant on age and weight.
The research is the first to quantify how obesity brings forward the age at which people develop health problems.
The Finnish team studied a group of 115, 000 and found that just under 20 per cent of healthy weight individuals had two health problems by the age of 75. Similar trends were seen in a separate study of 500,000 Britons.
Among those who were obese however, that same proportion was reached by the age of 55.