By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – We know that obesity is a major health issue in this country and throughout the world.READ MORE: 'Big Brother' Debuts Wednesday in a Special 90-Minute Live Event
Make no mistake, the price of obesity can be very high. We know that obesity at age 18 has the same risk for premature death as that of heavy smokers – heavy smokers are those who smoke more than ten cigarettes a day.READ MORE: Philadelphia Seeking Someone To Open Restaurant At Former LOVE Park Welcome Center
There is a study which followed 46,000 men from age 18 to roughly age 56.
Compared to those who were a normal weight at age 18, those who were obese had more than double the odds for premature death. That’s similar to heavy smokers. Those who were overweight increased their risk by about one third. Being obese and a heavy smoker increased the odds of premature death by five times.MORE NEWS: Suspect Accused Of Shooting Into Northeast Philadelphia Bar, Killing 21-Year-Old Woman Arrested
The bottom line is that the better you can control your weight through diet and exercise, the better your chances for good health.