A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association added to the debate about the seriousness of America's weight problem, saying obese individuals had a "a modestly increased relative risk of mortality" but people who were slightly above normal weight appeared to have lower-than-expected death rates. The study put the number of obesity-related deaths at 111,909 in 2000, but slightly overweight individuals had 86,094 fewer deaths than expected, for a net of 25,806 deaths tied to excess weight. An earlier Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study estimated annual obesity-related deaths at 400,000. The CDC corrected the number to 365,000 after its methodology was criticized. Unlike the earlier study, the latest study adjusted for age and some other risk factors. Researchers said obesity may have become less deadly over time with improvements in public healthcare and medicine. Read the report. -- by Joseph Mantone
Excess weight may be less deadly than thought
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.