Weight can affect health, life span

July 28, 2006

Overweight Americans usually are sick considerably more than their thinner contemporaries, look older and die younger, a new survey shows.

Researchers at Columbia University in New York found that overweight and obese women spend an average of three more years in ill health than normal-weight women. Heavy men, on average, are sicker one more year than their thinner counterparts.

The survey indicates further that overweight Americans are sicker late in life than normal-weight people and die prematurely, USA Today said.

Heavy people are more likely to suffer from pain, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses.

About 136 million U.S. adults are overweight or obese, government reports say. About one-third of children and teens, or 25 million children, are overweight or at risk of becoming so, the survey shows.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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