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Study: Obese don't tax healthcare system

Oct. 22, 2011 at 6:12 PM   |   Comments

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WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- A Canadian study on obesity found overweight people are not at greatly higher risk of bad health than people of normal weight.

The University of Manitoba study, released Friday, followed the health and healthcare system use of 35,000 Manitoba adults over the age of 20, the Winnipeg Free Press reported.

Dr. Randy Fransoo, the study's lead researcher, said he was "very surprised" to find obese people visit doctors, go to hospitals or take prescribed medications only 15 percent more often than thinner people.

"Yes, there's a bit of a burden coming for the healthcare system, but it's not going to be an avalanche," Fransoo predicted.

The study also found that people who work sitting at a desk for more than 30 hours a week are more prone to becoming obese.

Fransoo says the key is to be more active doing everyday tasks.

"It's not about body building and it's not about running half-marathons, but just having an active lifestyle and not being sedentary. That seems to be the [study's] real finding," he said.

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