Thursday, January 20, 2011

Being just overweight, not obese, still shortens lifespan

Deana Ferreri, Ph.D.

It is becoming more widely known that obesity can lead to a premature death – but what about those who fall in between healthy weight and obese? A new study suggests that even “a few extra pounds” can be dangerous.

This comes just a few months after a large study that concluded that waist circumference was associated with risk of death from all causes. These two studies used different methods of measurement, but they agree on a very important point – even a small amount of excess weight increases the risk of death. In the waist circumference study, even people who had a normal body mass index (BMI; calculated based on height and weight) were at greater risk of death if they had a 4-inch larger waist compared to others in their BMI category – that four extra inches of abdominal fat translated into a 16% (men) and 25% (women) increase in mortality risk over a nine year period. Read more...

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