Obesity is one of the leading preventable causes of death worldwide. A number of reviews have found that mortality risk is lowest at a BMI of 20–25 kg/m2 in non-smokers and at 24–27 kg/m2 in current smokers, with risk increasing along with changes in either direction. This appears to apply in at least four continents. In contrast, a 2013 review found that grade 1 obesity (BMI 30–34. 9) was not associated with higher mortality than normal weight, and that overweight (BMI 25–29. 9) was associated with "lower" mortality than was normal weight (BMI 18. 5–24. 9). Other evidence suggests that the association of BMI and waist circumference with mortality is U- or J-shaped, while the association between waist-to-hip ratio and waist-to-height ratio with mortality is more positive. In Asians the risk of negative health effects begins to increase between 22–25 kg/m2. A BMI above 32 kg/m2 has been associated with a doubled mortality rate among women over a 16-year period. In the United States, obesity is estimated to cause 111,909 to 365,000 deaths per year, while 1 million (7. 7%) of deaths in Europe are attributed to excess weight. On average, obesity reduces life expectancy by six to seven years, a BMI of 30–35 kg/m2 reduces life expectancy by two to four years, while severe obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2) reduces life expectancy by ten years. Obesity is associated with an increased risk of severe disease in COVID-19, and despite data showing long-standing inflammation associated with obesity, recent reports suggest that anti-viral responses may be attenuated in obese patients.
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