Report: Obesity Could Shorten Live Span

Report warns obesity could shorten US live span up to five years

Obesity may be cutting up to five years off what has been an increasing lifespan for Americans. US life expectancy is now more than 77-and-a-half years. But a report in the New England Journal of Medicine says that will fall dramatically in coming years because people are getting fatter. University of Illinois at Chicago researcher S. Jay Olshansky says his findings show that for the first time in modern history, today's younger generation will have shorter and less healthy lives than their parents. He says one positive side effect might be it could inadvertently help "save" Social Security. In an accompanying editorial, University of Pennsylvania demography expert Samuel Preston calls Olshansky's projections "excessively gloomy."

Two-thirds of US adults are overweight or obese.