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June 11, 2003

Methods of Estimating Years of Life Lost Due to Obesity—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;289(22):2941-2942. doi:10.1001/jama.289.22.2941-a

To the Editor: Dr Fontaine and colleagues1 estimated that a body mass index (BMI) of 33 at age 40 years was associated with a loss of life expectancy of 2 to 3 years. In contrast, we recently reported that a BMI of 30 or more (mean BMI of 33) at age 40 years was associated with a loss of 6 to 7 years of life.2 We believe that the method used by Fontaine et al underestimates the health effects of lifelong obesity. While we used a cohort life table to answer a cohort question, Fontaine et al used a period life table to answer a cohort question.

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