Elsevier LogoObesity has become a menacing problem worldwide. The US population is believed to increasingly be turning obese over time. It is said that obesity now poses as great a risk to standard of life as smoking does. Scientists from Columbia University and The City College of New York estimate that the Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) lost owing to obesity is apparently now equivalent to, if not more as compared to those gone due to smoking, both variable threat issues.

QALYs supposedly apply preference-based measurements of Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL). This enables an individual to declare a comparative inclination for a known health result. As one person could regard a specific result in a different way as compared to another person, these measures appear to arrest how every participant sees his/her own quality of life.

Investigators Haomiao Jia, PhD and Erica I. Lubetkin, MD, MPH, commented, “Although life expectancy and QALE have increased over time, the increase in the contribution of mortality to QALYs lost from obesity may result in a decline in future life expectancy. Such data are essential in setting targets for reducing modifiable health risks and eliminating health disparities.”

Interviews of over 3,500,000 were taken by the 1993–2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), the leading continuing state-based health survey of US adults. The yearly interviews supposedly commenced with approximately 1,02,263 in 1993 and ended with around 4,06,749 in 2008. The opinion poll comprised of queries that gauged HRQOL, inquiring about latest poor health days and following the by and large physical and mental health of the population. The experts have apparently evaluated this data and converted the measures to QALYs lost owing to obesity and smoking.

It was observed that from 1993 to 2008, when the amount of smokers among US adults reduced to 18.5%, smoking-related QALYs lost appeared to be comparatively steady at 0.0438 QALYs lost per population. At the same time, the percentage of obese people apparently augmented by 85% and this supposedly led to 0.0464 QALYs lost. Smoking seemed to have a larger effect on deaths whereas obesity is believed to have more impact on illness.

The study will appear in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and would be published by Elsevier.