Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
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.
Peeters A, Bonneux L, Barendregt J, Nusselder W. Methods of Estimating Years of Life Lost Due to Obesity—Reply. JAMA. 2003;289(22):2941-2942. doi:10.1001/jama.289.22.2941-a