obesity and mortality

Last edited 01/2021 and last reviewed 06/2021

  • body masses greater than 27 are associated with marked increases in mortality rates (1)
    • if an individual has a body mass less than 27 then there is very little relation between body weight and mortality
    • weight gains of more than 10 kg over time are associated with increased mortality
  • in 2000 in the USA, 15% of deaths were attributable to excess weight, owing to poor diet and physical inactivity (2)

NICE have suggested a schemata for assessing risk associated with obesity (3):

Based on the NICE schemata this graph reveals the temporal trend in England (3):


  • Byers T (1995). Body weight and mortality, NEJM, 333(11), 723-4.
  • Mokdad AH, Marks JS, Stroup DF, Gerberding JL. Actual causes of death in the United States, 2000. JAMA J Am Med Assoc. 2004 Mar. 10;291(10):1238-45
  • Public Health England (January 2021). Patterns and trends in adult excess weight.