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NewsBites March 2010 Issue

Weight Tops Smoking in Impact on Quality of Life

In another new study on obesity, the toll of excess weight on Americans’ health and quality of life was reported to have overtaken that of smoking, even though tobacco still poses a greater mortality threat. The analysis of 15 years of public-health data concluded that by 2008, the obese were losing more quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) through disability and limitations on activity. That contrasts with 1993, when the QALYs lost to obesity were far behind the toll of smoking.

“As a result of the increasing prevalence of obesity,” the researchers wrote in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, “the contribution of obesityrelated QALYs lost increased consistently and had increased by 127% in 2008, slightly more than smoking did.”

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