A new study likens the health risks of obesity to those of
heavy smokers. If your teen smokes -- they are twice as likely to die
before they're 60 years old!
Recently, we reported on teen obesity and its numerous effects on the teen's physical and emotional health. Now, in addition to these problems, new findings suggest that death rates from overweight teens are doubled by the time they're 60, compared with those at normal weight. This is the same increase in risk faced by normal-weight people "who smoked half a pack of cigarettes or more a day," reports the New York Times.
Smoking is known to be the single most important cause of preventable deaths and disease, and when comparing teen obesity to smoking, says Dr. David F. Williamson, a professor at Emory University, "It's fairly dramatic when you say something is as lethal as smoking. We know of very few things from a health perspective that are as lethal as smoking."
Still, out of the roughly 46,000 men tracked over 38 years, researchers found that men that were overweight were 1/3 more likely to die prematurely, while those who were obese were twice as likely to die prematurely.