Massage therapy is one way for a person to connect with his or her body and to practice nurturing self-care that may lead to healthier lifestyle choices. New research shows unhealthy choices that lead to obesity greatly affect both quantity and quality of life.

The study indicates that Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) lost to U.S. adults due to morbidity and mortality from obesity have more than doubled from 1993-2008 and the prevalence of obesity has increased 89.9 percent during the same period, according to a press release.

Increases were observed in all gender and race/ethnicity subgroups and across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Specifically:

• From 1993 to 2008, the obesity prevalence for U.S. adults increased from 14.1 percent to 26.7 percent, an 89.9 percent increase.

• Black women had the most QALYs lost due to obesity, at 0.0676 per person in 2008, which was 31 percent higher than QALYs lost in black men and about 50 percent higher than QALYs lost in white women and white men.

• A direct correlation between obesity-related QALYs lost and the percentage of the population reporting no leisure-time physical activity at the state level also was found.

The article, “Obesity-Related Quality-Adjusted Life Years Lost in the U.S. from 1993 to 2008” by Haomiao Jia, Ph.D., and Erica I. Lubetkin, M.D., appears in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 39, Issue 3 (September 2010) published by Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2010.03.026

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