Gender and the Burden of Disease Attributable to Obesity

Muennig, Peter A.; Lubetkin, Erica; Jia, Haomiao; Franks, Peter

Objectives. We estimated the burden of disease in the United States attributable to obesity by gender, with life expectancy, quality-adjusted life expectancy, years of life lost annually, and quality-adjusted life years lost annually as outcome measures.

Methods. We obtained burden of disease estimates for adults falling into the following body-mass index categories: normal weight (23 to <25), overweight (25 to <30), and obese (≥ 30). We analyzed the 2000 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey to obtain health-related quality-of-life scores and the 1990–1992 National Health Interview Survey linked to National Death Index data through the end of 1995 for mortality.

Results. Overweight men and women lost 270 000 and 1.8 million quality-adjusted life years, respectively, relative to their normal-weight counterparts. Obese men and women lost 1.9 million and 3.4 million quality-adjusted life years, respectively, per year. Much of the burden of disease among overweight and obese women arose from lower health-related quality of life and late life mortality.

Conclusions. Relative to men, women suffer a disproportionate burden of disease attributable to overweight and obesity, mostly because of differences in health-related quality of life.


Also Published In

American Journal of Public Health

More About This Work

Academic Units
Health Policy and Management
American Public Health Association
Published Here
September 30, 2016