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HHS HealthBeat (January 16, 2013)

Obesity, overweight and dying


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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A look at data from almost 100 studies with about 3 million people indicates that people who are obese are more likely to die prematurely. In the study, Katherine Flegal of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compared obese people to normal weight people.

“Obesity was associated with higher mortality relative to the normal weight category.”

The study also found that people who were overweight but not obese had a lower risk of early death than normal weight people.  It has been suggested that overweight people have higher risk of disease but may get earlier medical treatment than people who are normal weight.  The study only looked at weight and height, not at body fat. 

The study is in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: March 20, 2013