Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Even a Few Extra Pounds Is Risky

Study: Even a Few Extra Pounds Is Risky - EarthLink - Health News

Well, this isn't news we want to hear about weight!

However, this is one of the first major studies to account for the factors of smoking and chronic illness, which can complicate efforts to figure out how much weight itself is responsible for early death.

"The cumulative evidence is now even stronger," said Dr. Michael Thun, chief epidemiologist of the American Cancer Society who had no role in the research. "Being overweight does increase health risks. It's not simply a cosmetic or social problem."

Here is some more information about the study:

The U.S. study, by scientists at the National Cancer Institute, involved more than half a million people, ages 50 to 71, participating in a research project by the National Institutes of Health and AARP, formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons.

Researchers analyzed patients' body-mass index and mortality rate over a 10-year period from questionnaires they filled out in 1995 and 1996 detailing their weight and diet.

Under current government standards, a BMI - or weight-to-height measurement - of 25 or higher is overweight; 30 and above is obese.

Generally, you must be 30 pounds overweight be to considered obese. Using the body-mass index, a 5-foot-10 man would be considered overweight if he is between 174 to 208 pounds, and obese at 209 pounds or more.

But in a separate analysis of 186,000 healthy people - who had never smoked - overweight people were 20 to 40 percent more likely to die prematurely than normal-weight people. The risk increased two- to three-fold for obese people.

I'd like to read this study and the Korean one as well. And, I, uh, also will cut out that one soda I allow myself each day. I have about five pounds I'd like to drop. Interestingly, summer has caused me to not exercise as much as I do in the winter. Why? Trips to the pool with the kids instead of trips to the gym! I get no exercise at the pool. All I do is watch kids and hold my son. School starts next week for the girls. This will mean daily visits to the gym after I drop them off. Good for me.

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