business news in context, analysis with attitude

USA Today reports that a new study by RTI International, a nonprofit research organization, suggests that people who are morbidly obese – 80 pounds or more over their ideal weight – are likely to lose between three and 12 years off their normal lifespan.

Other results from the study include:

• “Excess weight was responsible for the loss of roughly 95 million years of life in the USA in 2008.”

• “Non-smokers who are obese — those who are about 30 or more pounds over a healthy weight — have a shorter life span by a year or less,” though “non-smokers who are overweight — about 29 pounds over a healthy weight — do not have shortened lives.”

• “Smoking takes a toll, too, and very heavy smokers are affected most. An 18-year-old white male who is normal weight and does not smoke can expect to live to age 81. If he's extremely obese and a smoker, his life expectancy is 60, a difference of 21 years.”
KC's View:
I realize that just running this story will annoy the people who think I just shut up about the obesity issue. But I think these numbers are both fascinating and important … especially because these numbers also inevitably are reflected in increased national health care costs that affect businesses everywhere.