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BMI AND MORTALITY

ANCHOR LEAD: TWO NEW STUDIES LOOK AT THE LINK BETWEEN OVERWEIGHT AND RISK OF DEATH, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Overweight and obesity contribute significantly to your risk of dying, two European studies conclude.  Lawrence Cheskin, director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center, isn’t surprised.

CHESKIN:  Certainly we’ve always known that at extreme levels of obesity you’re more likely to die early, especially for younger  people where the risks are elevated two or three times.  But there has always been some data to suggest that maybe people who lose weight cut their lives short a little bit so it is more useful to have long term follow up data and these studies do show that it is dangerous to be obese and that it can cut your life expectancy.               :26

Cheskin says these studies quantify and stratify risk based on how much someone is overweight, and establish that even seemingly modest gains in weight translate into a substantially increased risk of death.  Now, he says, exact mechanisms by which extra fat translates into increased risk need to be identified.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.



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