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News2013January › People who are 'a little overweight' live longer › January 2013

People who are 'a little overweight' live longer

Doctors often warn us of the health risks of being obese-that's a body-mass index (BMI) in excess of 30-but what about those of us who are just a little overweight? Apparently, that's the 'Goldilocks weight' (neither too thin nor too fat) and you shouldn't rush to shed those excess pounds as they may even help you live longer

Doctors often warn us of the health risks of being obese-that's a body-mass index (BMI) in excess of 30-but what about those of us who are just a little overweight? Apparently, that's the 'Goldilocks weight' (neither too thin nor too fat) and you shouldn't rush to shed those excess pounds as they may even help you live longer.
People who are overweight with a BMI score of between 25 and 30 live longer than other groups-even those who are slim and have 'normal' weight and a BMI of 18.5 to 25.
Researchers think those few extra pounds actually have a protective effect, and provide energy reserves if you suffer a life-threatening illness or a serious injury.
The researchers, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), made their surprising discovery after they analysed 97 medical trials that involved around 2.8 million people from 10 countries. Overall, they found overweight people had "significantly lower all-cause mortality"-in other words, they are far less likely to die from any disease or cause, including cancer and heart disease.
People who are overweight should think twice before shedding the pounds, they conclude, especially if they already have a chronic health problem. It might just be keeping them alive.
(Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2013; 309: 71-82).


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