Washington: A new study has found that people who were overweight as teenagers are not experiencing the same gains of today's increased life expectancy rate like their slim counterparts.
One of the study's authors, Amir Tirosh, of the Division of Endocrinology at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, said that in studying the rate of death among adults younger than age 50, they found that there was no improvement among men who were overweight or obese as teenagers.
In fact, the mortality rate among overweight and obese teenagers in the years 2000 to 2010 was as high as the rate observed in the 1960s and 1970s, he said.
The nationwide longitudinal cohort study in the US analyzed records for more than 2.1 million teenagers who were evaluated for compulsory military service in Israel.
The study subjects were born between the years 1950 and 1993. Each was between the ages of 16 and 20 when they were evaluated for military service.
Researchers calculated the teenagers' body mass index at the time of the evaluation. The study also combed death records to determine mortality rates among the study population.
Researchers found mortality rates were 41 percent lower among normal weight teenagers who were born in the 1980s than teens of a similar weight who were born thirty years earlier.
But among those who were overweight or obese as teenagers, there was no significant improvement in the survival rate over the course of four decades.
In addition, the study found overweight and obese teenagers had a higher risk of death before the age of 50. Among boys, even those with weights at the upper end of the normal range faced a greater risk of dying relatively early in adulthood.
The study is published online in journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.