[ RadSafe ] risk from being overweight

Kai Kaletsch eic at shaw.ca
Tue Jun 23 23:38:30 CDT 2009


In the olden days, we used to compare the risk from 1 mSv to the 
hypothetical risk of some other activity, like drinking a glass of wine. 
Since then, the HPS has (rightly) discouraged the practice of calculating 
risks from trivially small exposures. Now, I use a slide comparing the life 
expectancy reduction of different (real) risk factors and calculate the 
amount of radiation exposure one would need to get the same reduction in 
life expectancy. The results are, of course, non-trivial exposures and I am 
not violating the HPS position statement.

One line of the slide states that being 15% overweight will reduce your life 
expectancy by about 2 years (can't remember off-hand where I got this value) 
and that you would need to get 150 mSv/year every year to get the same 

I would appreciate if someone could comment on the loss of life expectancy 
from being overweight. Specifically with regard to this article: 
http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSTRE55N0C720090624 . It 
claims that overweight people live the longest. Obese and normal weight 
people come in second, extremely obese people came in third, while 
underweight people died youngest. To me, this was somewhat surprising.


Kai Kaletsch
Environmental Instruments Canada Inc.
#202 135 Robin Cr.
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Canada S7L 6M3
Tel: 406 686 0081
Home: 306 477 0623 

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