Death by obesity may be 4 times higher than previously thought

A team of researchers led by a Columbia University demographer concluded that premature U.S. deaths associated with obesity and the host of health problems it causes is now over 18 percent– -four times higher than previously estimated! The study was published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Women–especially African-American women–suffer more obesity-related deaths than men, with a steep rise in mortality after the age of sixty. Researchers also found increasing rates of overweight and obesity among the generation born in the 1970s and 1980s, a condition that is “widespread and likely lifelong.”

Particularly alarming is the percentage of overweight or obese kids–a factor that has increased fivefold since the early 1970s, along with numerous health problems previously seen only in older adults. Studies have shown that these kids have an 80 percent chance of battling obesity ills their entire lives.

Neither our industrialized food system or our health authorities are doing our children or ourselves any favors.  Change is in order and the best place to start is at home.