Tuesday, January 5, 2010
The health benefits Americans have gained by reducing their tobacco use are becoming "outweighed" by the negative effects of our growing obesity epidemic, according to a new study. The study, led by Susan Stewart of Harvard University, forecasts the life expectancy for a nationally representative 18-year-old assuming that recent trends in smoking and weight gain continued for the next decade or so.
While continued declines in cigarette smoking would increase the life expectancy of the18-year-old by 0.31 years by 2020, continued increases in BMI would cut life expectancy by 1.02 years over the same period of time. That's an overall net loss in life expectancy 0.71 years.