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Science Briefing

Obesity can take years off life

March 21, 2009|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Gross obesity can take 10 years off your life, as much as heavy smoking, according to a study published Tuesday by the medical journal Lancet.

An Oxford University team analyzed 57 studies conducted in the United States and Europe involving 894,576 people.

The team correlated deaths to body mass index, or BMI, a commonly used measure of obesity that relates a person's weight and height.

They found that people with a BMI over 30 -- which is considered moderately obese -- are likely to have their lives shortened by two to three years.

Those with BMIs over 35 are likely to lose five to seven years, and those with a BMI over 40 -- considered grossly obese -- will probably lose eight to 10 years, according to the study.

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