Study: Being Overweight Is Not Necessarily Unhealthy

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Research suggests the death risk for overweight people is lower than many believe.

The New York Times reports…

“We wouldn’t want people to think, ‘Well, I can take a pass and gain more weight,’” said Dr. George Blackburn, associate director of Harvard Medical School’s nutrition division.

But what new research has found is that among nearly three million people, those with an “overweight” body mass index value were less likely to die than those of normal weight. It seems to suggest that the range of healthy values for body mass needs to be tipped a little toward the higher end.

And while some people seem to be fine with a little extra weight – especially seniors – it does raise the risk for conditions like diabetes. The researchers explain that weight and the body mass index (which just correlates weight to height) are not great predictors of health, and that obesity is still bad news. To some degree everything is linked, but generalizations don’t tell the whole story. Blood pressure, sugar levels and cholesterol are also important factors.

Stacy Johnson

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