Could being fat be just as bad as smoking cigarettes? A very interesting study from Sweden reports that men who were obese at age 18 had the same risk for premature death as those who were heavy smokers (more than ten cigarettes a day). Those who were overweight at age 18 had the same risk for premature death as those who were less heavy smokers (that's 10 or fewer cigarettes per day). The study followed 46,000 men from age 18 to roughly age 56. Compared to those who were a normal weight at age 18, those who were obese had more than double the odds for premature death. That's similar to heavy smokers. Those who were overweight increased their risk by about one third. Being obese and a heavy smoker increased the odds of premature death by five times. This was statistically the same as being a heavy smoker or obese at age 18.
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