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Obesity Leaves More Americans With Physical Limitations
Date:11/6/2007

But some extra weight may not lead to cardiovascular disease and cancer, research finds,,,,

TUESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- If you're one of the millions of Americans carrying excess weight, a pair of new studies has good news and bad news for you. It turns out that a little extra weight may not shorten your life but may make it harder to perform everyday activities as you get older.

The studies, which are published in the Nov. 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, assessed the effect that weight has on mortality and disability as people age.

The first study found that obesity is associated with functional impairments, such as the inability to bend over to pick something up. The second study compared mortality rates in people of all different weights and found that weight affected the most likely causes of death, with underweight people most likely to die of non-cancer, non-cardiovascular causes and obese people most likely to die from cardiovascular disease or obesity-related cancers.

"People know that obesity places them at increased risk of diabetes and heart disease, but I think people don't always think about how the increased weight may affect quality of life and to do the things you want to do," said the author of the first study, Dawn Alley, a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania.

Knowing the potential effects of overweight and obesity is becoming increasingly important as Americans' waistlines are ever-increasing. According to the statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the incidence of obesity in American adults has risen dramatically from the 1970s, when 15 percent of the population was considered obese. Today, that number has more than doubled to 33 percent.

Being overweight increases your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis and some cance
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