2 Studies Find High Weights Shorten Lives
Among women, the risk of death increased for any amount of weight above the normal range. For men, the risk was not higher for those merely overweight.
The researchers said the more telling analysis arose when they focused on 186,000 healthy men and women who had never smoked. Among men and women, being overweight raised the risk of death 20 percent to 40 percent compared with normal-weight people, the researchers said.
Obese people had a risk two to three times that of normal-weight people.
?We found that people who are overweight had a modestly increased risk of premature death,? said Dr. Michael F. Leitzmann, an investigator at the National Cancer Institute and the senior author of the article.
Because all the participants were recruited from AARP, they are not exactly representative of the population as a whole, and the participants reported their weight themselves, which contributes to some uncertainty in the results.
Dr. Leitzmann said neither factor would probably skew the results considerably because ?it?s a very large sample of people.?