Tuesday, July 18, 2006

health magazine:Being overweight at 18 bodes ill health for women

By Indo Asian News Service

New York, July 18 (IANS) Being overweight at 18 may increase pre-mature death risk among women, say researchers, but caution that the results need to be confirmed in other groups.

Rob van Dam and other researchers at Harvard School of Public Health studied 102,400 female American nurses who were 24 to 44 years old.

The study, started in 1989, recorded their current height and weight, what their height and weight was at age 18, their history of smoking, drinking alcohol and physical activity.

Premature death risk was higher for nurses who had been overweight or obese at age 18, even if they had only been moderately overweight based on their BMI (body mass index), reported the online edition of health magazine WebMD.

Researchers said the results need to be confirmed in other groups as most of the nurses were white and because self-reported data isn't always accurate.

For instance, the researchers found some under-reporting of weight when they checked some of the nurses' medical records, according to the study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The journal also carries an editorial by an expert William Dietz, who notes that 'the reported effect of overweight on death has been controversial'.

But he sees little argument about links between obesity and adult diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

Losing extra weight may lower those risks, Dietz points out. Losing 10 percent of body weight can help curb obesity-related high blood pressure, blood fat problems, and glucose (blood sugar) intolerance.

Copyright Indo-Asian News Service