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‘Smokadiabesity’ reaches epidemic proportions. But low fitness still kills more Americans than smoking, diabetes and obesity combined!

17 Jun, 11 | by Karim Khan

Blair. 2009. BJSM, (43) pp1-2

MOST LIKED BLOG OF 2011 – GETS A DUST OFF AND FRONT BLOG STATUS FOR 24 HOURS. PLEASE ‘LIKE’ OR RETWEET IF YOU FEEL THIS IS MESSAGE HAS NOT GOT THROUGH TO THOSE MAKING PUBLIC HEALTH DECISIONS OR TO ALL CLINICIANS GIVING HEALTH ADVICE

Smoking, diabetes and obesity are  major public health concerns.  At the same time there is little attention given to the health consequences of missing a day (or a lifetime) of physical activity.
Yet low physical fitness kills more Americans than does either smoking, diabetes, or obesity (see Blair). And, when one looks at it carefully, low fitness kills more Americans than smoking, diabetes and obesity in COMBINATION!! (apologies for red but it deserved it!)

As a nation, an unfit America (that’s where these data exist) dies more from low fitness than from ‘smokadiabesity.’ And low fitness is readily curable.  Do personal, and policy, priorities reflect the real killer?

Comment below or send guest comments to karim.khan@ubc.ca

Does our health system reflect this order of importance?

This graph (redrawn from Blair SN, BJSM 2009, pp. 1-2)  compares the population attributable fraction of death for men (left, coloured bar in each set) and women (right, open bar in each set). The low fitness column reflects a greater PAF for deaths than the combined smokadiabesity column.

See also Supercourse for Professor Blair`s 40-slide lecture on this topic

And click here to listen to Professor Blair`s BJSM podcast

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  • Djbulibasa

    Don't forget to tell that hypertension is a consequence of low fitness… so…

  • Rachael Bradhurst

    Smokadiabesity is a splendid neologism for this concept.  Not even on google yet.  Cool way to get the idea out………

  • PhotoFan

    Thanks for your comment Rachael. All the best to the Sports Podiatry group in Queensland and thanks for posting your comment on the BJSM Blog

  • Pingback: Let’s get moving! | The Sporting Joint()

  • JorgeDuke68

    These estimates of the benefits obtainable from fitness (or costs of unfitness, if you prefer): do you actually have randomized prospective studies to back them up? No, I didn’t think so. You probably have correlational studies where you tried to partial a few things out, great, we can really trust that. And maybe a few experimental studies that didn’t use intent to treat procedures, so the sick quitters inflate the effect–bet that’s a huge part of your estimates…

  • Carlen Bowie

    All are a consequence of low fitness except smoking. And most people that are trying to stay fit don’t smoke so…..

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