Thursday, February 26, 2009

Obesity as Deadly as Smoking in Young Men

Wow - here's some really shocking news! A new Swedish study published in The British Medical Journal has found that being overweight and obese is as hazardous to your health as light and heavy smoking.

The researchers used data from mandatory conscription tests performed when men were 18, which included measures of BMI and questions regarding smoking status. These men were later followed for nearly 40 years afterward. Their findings? Men who were obese at age 18 were twice as likely to die prematurely than their healthy-weight counterparts. But that's not all - these were the same odds that they found when they compared heavy smokers (10 cigarettes per day) to those who didn't smoke!

Now, I don't know about you, but ten cigarettes a day sure seems like it can't be good for your health and if obesity poses the same risks, then it's really time to do something about it. The researchers go on to say that "The global obesity epidemic and smoking among adolescents remain important targets for intensified public health initiatives,". It seems we all know how unhealthy smoking is, and there has been a whole lot of public policy and funding put in place to eliminate it, but maybe it's time that Health Canada and the government took some real action in decreasing the incidence of overweight and obesity in kids. Wait a minute, maybe that's why they brought participACTION back?