US Med Voice

US Med



Vol. 5, No. 5 | May 2013




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Extra Weight May Not Cut Lifespan
Study Shows Being a Little Overweight May Lower Death Rate

US MED Gives Back Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other sources, pooled data from 97 studies in a dozen countries, data on more than 3 million people.

Adjusted for age, gender and smoking, their figures showed that somewhat overweight people had a 6 percent lower overall death rate during the study than those of normal weight.

Obese people, however, were found to be 29 percent more likely to die during the study period. The mildly obese were at no greater risk than normal-weight people. For those over 65, the benefit of carrying some extra pounds was most notable, as reported by the University of California, Berkeley.

Longevity was based on the body mass index. Some researchers remind us that before it was released in 1998, the cutoffs for weight categories were higher. BMI figures may be too low.

Doctors say overweight people are living longer because they now take medications to prevent heart attacks and strokes and to control diabetes.

Even at grade 1 obesity (210-245 pounds for 5' 10" person), disorders caused or worsened by obesity, like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease and osteoarthritis of the knees and hips, will impair quality of life and increase disability.

Researchers say the main problem for many people with being simply overweight or slightly obese is that they continue to gain more weight.

Obesity is an epidemic in the United States, even affecting children. Fortunately, thanks to medical advances, we are better at treating obese people and prolonging their lives.

But the cost in health care dollars and quality of life is great.



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