New study sites obesity problems
It's a problem to which at least two-thirds of Americans should pay attention: being overweight.
The results of a new government study released this week concluded that being just a little overweight can be a problem, and that even those who were slightly overweight were more likely to die prematurely than those who maintained a healthy weight.
The U.S. study, by scientists at the National Cancer Institute, involved more than half a million people, ages 50 to 71, participating in a research project by the National Institutes of Health and AARP, formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons.
Researchers analyzed patients' body-mass index and mortality rate over a 10-year period from questionnaires they filled out in 1995 and 1996 detailing their weight and diet.
But in a separate analysis of 186,000 healthy people – who had never smoked – overweight people were 20 to 40 percent more likely to die prematurely than normal-weight people. The risk increased two- to three-fold for obese people.
With an estimated two-thirds of Americans pushing the scales higher than we should, this is clearly a study to which we should pay attention as we push away from the table.