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Type: Journal article
Title: Obesity, body mass index, and homicide
Author: Omond, K.
Langlois, N.
Byard, R.
Citation: Journal of Forensic Sciences, 2017; 62(4):930-933
Publisher: American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Issue Date: 2017
ISSN: 0022-1198
Statement of
Kimberley J. Omond, Neil E. I. Langlois, Roger W. Byard
Abstract: The body mass indexes (BMIs) of 100 randomly selected homicide cases from the files of Forensic Science SA were compared to the Australian and South Australian populations. There were 70 males and 30 females (M:F = 2.3:1; age range 18-84 years; mean 42.3 years). There was a substantially lower proportion of obese individuals in the homicide population compared to the general Australian and South Australian populations (19% [vs.] 27.9% and 30%, respectively). A second group of 144 randomly selected autopsy cases where the BMI was ≥40 kg/m2 was analyzed. There were 77 males and 67 females (M:F = 1.2:1; age range 23-78 years; mean 46.7 years). The majority of deaths were natural (N = 108), with no homicides. A negative association between obesity and homicide has, therefore, been demonstrated. Reasons for the lower numbers of obese/morbidly obese individuals among homicide victims are unclear, but may include physical protection afforded by fat padding from sharp force injuries, and relative sociodemographic isolation.
Keywords: cardiovascular
forensic science
morbid obesity
sharp force
social isolation
sudden death
Rights: © 2016 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
DOI: 10.1111/1556-4029.13374
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