Doctors have become almost parrot-like in telling us that being overweight can dramatically affect our health - but a new study suggests they are wrong. And being a little on the tubby side even seems to protect you against cancer.
A new report from Germany reveals that being overweight - having a body mass index (BMI) of between 25 and 30 - doesn't make any difference to how long you may live. In fact, men who were overweight had a 7 per cent lower death rate from cancer than men with a normal weight.
In a review of 42 studies, researchers from the University of Hamburg found that our weight affects our health only when we become obese, which is defined as any BMI score above 30. Overall, the death rate among obese people is 20 per cent higher than in people with lower BMI scores. But as we get older, even obesity seems to have less of an impact on our health.
(Source: Deutsches Artzeblatt International, 2009; 106: 641).