Researchers suggest link between obesity, injury risk

Canberra, Australia – Injury and obesity may be linked, according to a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

The report, which summarizes existing literature on the relationship between obesity and injury, states that obesity increases a person’s risk of falls and trips due to reductions in stability and coordination, and that sleep apnea caused by obesity increases motor vehicle crash risks. Safety risks were especially high for obese children, who often suffered increased musculoskeletal and face injuries.

The report concluded that obesity had both amplified and reductive effects on the severity of injuries. Injuries caused by trips and falls can be reduced by the presence of excess body fat; however, hospital stays tend to be longer for people who are obese because they have increased respiratory support needs and a propensity to develop additional health complications.

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