A new study says life expectancy in the United States may decline later this century due to a sharp rise in obesity nationwide. The research, published in this week's New England Journal of Medicine, says that if obesity levels continue to rise, statisticians may have to shave 2 to 5 years from the average American's life expectancy. Such a sustained downward shift in projected life expectancy would be the first such drop in more than 200 years.
Jay Olshansky, professor, epidemiology and biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago
David Ludwig, director, obesity program, Children's Hospital Boston. Associate professor of pediatrics, Harvard Medical School