Gender and the burden of disease attributable to obesity

Peter Muennig, Erica Lubetkin, Haomiao Jia, Peter Franks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1662-1668
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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