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  • Obesity may reduce life expectacy by 2- to 5 years within 50 years

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Monday, March 21, 2005 5:35 am Email this article
    Life expectancy has slowly and steadily increased over the last thousand years, however, obesity could reverse that trend and decrease the average life expectancy by 2 to 5 years within the next fifty years -- more of an impact than heart disease or cancer -- according to new study from researchers at the University of Illinois.

    This study has been criticized as being overly bleak and not looking at other factors that could increase life expectancy.

    Increase in life expectancy has slowed

    The rate of increase in life expectancy in the last 30 years has slowed compared to previous decades.

    Life expectancy of 100 years by 2060?

    Life expectancy is expected to increase to 100 in the U.S. and other developing nations by the year 2060 according to one analysis, and by 2300 according to a different analysis with different assumptions conducted by the United Nations.

    Obesity has increased dramatically in the last 20 years

    “After remaining relatively stable in the 1960s and 1970s, the prevalence of obesity among adults in the United States increased by approximately 50 percent per decade throughout the 1980s and 1990s,” the authors note.

    “Two thirds of adults in the United States today are obese or overweight. In the United States, 28 percent of men, 34 percent of women, and nearly 50 percent of non-Hispanic black women are currently obese.”

    Death rates lowest in men with BMI of 23-25, women 22-23

    Death rates are lowest among men with a body mass index (BMI) of 23.5 to 24.9 and among women with a BMI of 22.0 to 23.4 according to a study of more than a million U.S. adults.

    Increased deaths from heart disease among those who are heavier

    There was an increase in deaths from cardiovascular diseases among people with higher BMIs.

    Extreme obesity increases the risk of death 4-fold

    Extreme obesity dramatically increases the deaths among young people according to a study of 6139 people from Germany.

    Among people with a BMI of 40 or more who were 18-to 29-years-old, men were 4.2 times more likely to die, and women were 3.8 times more likely to die.


    Olshansky S, Passaro D, Hershow RC, Layden J, Carnes, BA, Brody J, Hayflick L, Butler RN, Allison D, Ludwig D. A potential decline in life expectancy in the United States in the 21st century. N Engl J Med. 2003 Sep 4, 352(11):1138-45.


    S. Jay Olshansky, PhD
    University of Illinois
    1603 W. Taylor St., Rm. 885
    Chicago, IL 60612 USA
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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