Eat That…and Die?

The morning started out just fine, thank you! Nothing too upsetting this morning after days of titillating WikiLeaks, and news of a still lethargic economy… until I open my iPad and read the latest findings issued by the National Institutes of Health. The bottom line is that every excess pound gained raises one’s risk of death.

That’s right:

Every Excess Pound Hastens the inevitable.
Even if you don’t smoke and are in otherwise good health, your risk of death goes up 31% with every 5-point increase in BMI, a measure of body mass based on weight and height.

Just being a little bit overweight increases death risk. Compared to those with a normal-range BMI of 22.5 to 24.9:

·         A BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 increased death risk by 13%
·         A BMI of 30.0 to 34.9 increased death risk by 44%
·         A BMI of 35.0 to 39.9 increased death risk by 88%
·         A BMI of 40.0 to 49.9 increased death risk by 251%
Those figures are for women who do not smoke and who have no underlying disease. The risks are similar for men, note Amy Berrington de Gonzalez, DPhil, of the National Institutes of Health, and colleagues.

“We conclude that for non-Hispanic whites, both overweight and obesity are associated with increased all-cause mortality,” they conclude. “All-cause mortality is generally lowest within the BMI range of 20.0 to 24.9.”

BMI measured before age 50 had the strongest effect on death risk.

The findings appear in the Dec. 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

02. December 2010 by Ruth Folger Weiss
Categories: Health Care, Medical News | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment