Excess Deaths Associated with Underweight, Overweight and Obesity
Apr 21, 2005 - 5:19:38 PM

Using data collected from the most recent NHANES, Katherine Flegal, Ph.D., CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, and her co-authors from CDC and the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, found that both obesity and being underweight are associated with excess deaths when compared with the normal weight population.

The study found:

* There were 112,000 more deaths than expected in 2000 among obese individuals (BMI of 30 or higher).

* Underweight individuals (BMI of less than 18.5) had a higher risk of death with nearly 34,000 more deaths than expected.

* Most of the excess deaths among the underweight occurred in people age 70 or older. Among the obese, the increased risk of death was most pronounced among people younger than 70.

* Being overweight (BMI of 25-29.9) was not associated with excess mortality. The study found that 87,000 fewer deaths than expected were associated with being overweight.

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