"In studying the rate of death among adults younger than age 50, we found that there was no improvement among men who were overweight or obese as teenagers," said Amir Tirosh from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

"In fact, the mortality rate among overweight and obese teenagers in the years 2000 to 2010 was as high as the rate observed in the 1960s and 1970s," Tirosh added.

The study analysed records for more than 2.1 million teenagers who were evaluated for compulsory military service in Israel. They were born between the years 1950 and 1993.

Each was between the ages of 16 and 20 when they were evaluated for military service.

Researchers calculated the teenagers' body mass index at the time of evaluation and checked their death records. They found mortality rates were 41 percent lower among normal weight teenagers who were born in the 1980s than teens of a similar weight who were born thirty years earlier.

But among those who were overweight or obese as teenagers, there was no significant improvement in the survival rate over the course of four decades.

The study also found that overweight and obese teenagers were at a higher risk of death before the age of 50. In US average lifespan has increased by more than a decade since 1950.

The study appeared in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.


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