Obesity in Children and Adolescents May Increase Risk of Mortality in Adulthood
University researchers from Sweden reviewed national data to determine if obesity in youth was linked to an increase in mortality in adulthood. The study found that being overweight or obese in late adolescence did increase the risk of adult mortality.
About the Study
The initial data was collected through a nationwide military registration of young males. The registration included information on height, weight, and
- 33% higher for overweight males
- 114% higher for obese males
A second study done from this same data also examined smoking habits. As supported in many previous studies smoking was also associated with early death. Alarmingly, being overweight and obese carried the same mortality risk as moderate and heavy smoking. If the men were obese and heavy smokers, they multiplied risk of death by five.
How Does This Affect You?
Obesity is a growing problem among youth worldwide. This study reinforces the serious health risks of being overweight or obese, even in youth. It is never too early to address childhood obesity. Tobacco, another problem that begins in youth, has long been the number one preventable cause of early death. Obesity, which is far more common than smoking, appears to be in competition for this infamous top spot.
Talk to your child’s doctor about a
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Academy of Pediatrics
Neovius M, Sundstrom J, Rasmussen F. Combined effects of overweight and smoking in late adolescence on subsequent mortality: nationwide cohort study. BMJ. 2009 Feb 24;338:b496. doi: 10.1136/bmj.b496.
Last reviewed April 2009 by
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