The body mass index (BMI) is one of the crudest measurements of our health and longevity. It's been found wanting in many a study, and researchers at UCI (University of California Irvine) have confirmed this with the discovery that elderly people who are overweight according to their BMI reading actually live longer.
The researchers compared BMI and mortality rates for more than 13,000 subjects over the age of 80 who were living in a retirement community. Data was collected over a three-year period, and again for another year one year later.
Those whose BMI readings put them in the 'overweight' category lived longer than those in the 'normal' scale.
The ideal progression seems to be within the 'normal' scale in your younger years before slowly putting on more weight as you age. The research found that those who were overweight, or even obese, in the early 20s didn't live as long as those who were slimmer.
(Source: UCI website).
E-news broadcast 7 June 2007 No.366