Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Forget Cigarettes, Mind The Waist Line

Conflicting messages
Conflicting messages

A new study indicates that obesity is a greater risk to one's health than cigarette smoking.

In an article published in the February issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers from Columbia University and The City College of New York calculate that the Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) lost due to obesity is now equal to, if not greater than, those lost due to smoking, both modifiable risk factors.

The 1993–2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, the largest ongoing state-based health survey of U.S. adults, has conducted interviews of more than 3.5 milliion people.The survey includes a set of questions that measures HRQOL, asking about recent poor health days and tracking overall physical and mental health of the population. The authors analyzed these data and converted the measures to QALYs lost due to smoking and obesity.

The survey concluded that the proportion of smokers among U.S. adults declined 18.5 percent. During the same period, the proportion of obese people increased 85 percent.



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