Substantial epidemiologic evidence indicates that obesity, defined by a body-mass index (BMI) (the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters) of 30.0 or more, is associated with an increased risk of death. However, whether overweight (defined by a BMI of 5.0 to 29.9) increases the risk of death has not been established. A substantial proportion of the U.S. adult population is overweight but not obese; any association between overweight and mortality might have important clinical and public health implications.
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