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Obesity Increases Chance of Earlier Death

So, after a few years in which some studies showed that being a little overweight might be healthier than having a normal weight, a new study shows that being overweight—and in particular, obese—can increase the chances of dying earlier.

People who are even just a little overweight have a 13 percent increase in death risk than those who have a normal body weight, according to the new study, which reviewed 19 previous studies.

In the study, normal weight women were considered to be those with a BMI of between 22.5 and 24.9. Women with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 had a 13 percent greater risk of death than those with normal BMIs. Those with a BMI of 30 to 34.9 had a 44 percent higher death risk while a BMI of 35 to 39.9 increased death risk by 88 percent and a BMI of 40 to 49.9 increased the risk by 251 percent. The rates were similar for men.

The study, which was conducted by researchers at the National Cancer Institute and was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, reviewed the data from previous studies, which lasted 10 years. Altogether, the studies included data on 1.46 million white men and women between the ages of 19 and 84 (and a median age of 58). Researchers tossed out results from any participants who were smokers or who had heart disease, cancer or a history of strokes.

An article on notes a few concerns about the study, but doesn't it make sense to everyone in our industry that the more weight a person carries around, the more stress and strain they put on their heart and their joints? Just another reason to ensure your members are reaching their weight-loss and health goals.

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