NewsCap: Disease burden of obesity matches that of smoking.
Disease burden of obesity matches that of smoking. Although smoking carries a higher burden of premature deaths, obesity causes more disability and inactivity. And while the prevalence of smoking in the United States dropped 18% from 1993 to 2008, the prevalence of obesity rose 85% Researchers used information from telephone interviews conducted with nearly 3.6 million people during that period. Questions about poor health days and overall physical and mental health were used to estimate how smoking and obesity contribute to the number of quality-adjusted life-years lost. The calculations reveal that obesity now carries as great a disease burden as smoking. The findings were reported in the February issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.