Obesity and Regional Differences in Life Expectancy

Here is a different way of looking at the material consequences of living a life that allows you to become obese: "The United States has the highest prevalence of obesity and one of the lowest life expectancies among high-income countries. We investigated the relationship between these 2 phenomena. ... We estimated the fraction of deaths attributable to obesity by country, age, and sex and reestimated life tables after removing these deaths. To allow for a possible secular decline in obesity risks, we employed alternative risks from a more recent period. ... In our baseline analysis, obesity reduced US life expectancy at age 50 years in 2006 by 1.54 years for women and by 1.85 years for men. Removing the effects of obesity reduced the US shortfall by 42% for women and 67% for men, relative to countries with higher life expectancies. Using more recently recorded risk data, we estimated that differences in obesity still accounted for a fifth to a third of the shortfall. ... The high prevalence of obesity in the United States contributes substantially to its poor international ranking in longevity."

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21940912

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