The short- and long-term risks for developing overweight or obesity are unknown.
Dr Ramachandran and colleagues estimated the short-term, and long-term risks for developing overweight or obesity in adults in the community.
The investigators also assessed lifetime risks for developing overweight or obesity in these adults.
The investigative team designed a prospective cohort study from 1971 to 2001, that was community-based in Framingham, Massachusetts.
| Long-term risks exceeded 1 in 2 persons for overweight or more|
|Annals of Internal Medicine|
Of the participants, 4117 were white of which 52% were women.
The team measured short-term, or 4 years, and long-term or 10 to 30 years risks for ever becoming overweight or obese.
These risks were assessed in men and women at 30, 40, and 50 years of age with a normal body mass index between 18 kg/m2 and 25 kg/m2.
The observed 4-year rates of developing overweight varied from 14% to 19% in women and 26% to 30% in men.
The team found that 4-year rates of developing obesity ranged from 5% to 7% in women and 7% to 9% in men.
The long-term risk estimates were similar for the 2 sexes generally, and varied somewhat with age.
The investigators noted that overall, long-term risks exceeded 1 in 2 persons for overweight or more, and 1 in 4 individuals for obesity.
The long-term risks with stage II obesity, a body mass index of 35 kg/m2 varied from 1 to 10 patients across different age groups.
The 30-year estimates correspond to the residual lifetime risk for overweight or more or obesity for participants 50 years of age.
The team highlighted that these findings may not be generalizable to other races or ethnicities.
Dr Ramachandran's team concluded, “The long-term risks for overweight or more or obesity exceeded 50% and 25%, respectively.”
“This indicates a large public health burden.”
“These estimates suggest that the future burden of obesity-associated diseases may be substantial.”