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Overweight Ain’t So Great
A recent study found that healthy, nonsmoking white adults whose body mass index (BMI) indicated they were overweight had a 13% greater risk of death than those with a normal BMI. Obese subjects faced an increased risk ranging from 44% to 88%.
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Body Mass Index (BMI)
BMI is one measure of height and weight used to determine overweight or obesity. Overweight begins at a BMI measurement of 25, obese at 30 and morbid obesity at 40.
Obesity & Mortality
Two-thirds of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese. A 5-foot 6-inch person is considered overweight at 155 pounds, obese at 186 pounds and morbidly obese at 248 pounds.
The study’s conclusions, published in late 2010 in the New England Journal of Medicine, are similar to those of three other large studies. The body of evidence supporting the finding that being even slightly overweight is associated with an increased risk of death is continuing to grow. It debunks the notion that a “few extra pounds” might actually be good for one’s health.
Even being a little overweight increases the risk of early death
The government–funded study analyzed 19 long term studies using each person’s BMI and checked to see who died during a five to 28 year follow up period. The researchers focused on people who were healthy at the study’s start, who were nonsmokers and did not have heart disease or cancer. The results were similar for women and men. Evidence suggests that for the same BMI level, African-Americans may have a lower risk of death and Asians a higher risk. Further research is needed to confirm this.
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