Many of us wouldn't mind shedding a few excess kilos, which is why the health industry makes a killing selling diets, exercise gear, and weight-loss plans. But a new study finds that being overweight could help you live longer.
Photo by mandj98.
Following 11,326 Canadian adults over a 12-year period (smoking status, physical activity, age, gender, and alcohol consumption were all accounted for), the study found that people who are overweight but not obese, with a body mass index of 25 to 29.9, tend to live longer than those who are normal weight (B.M.I. of 18.5 to 24.9). Specifically, the risk of dying for overweight persons was 17 percent lower than for people of normal weight.
The study neglected to say how much longer overweight people would live, and whether its results could be extended to other audiences. However, its conclusions did corroborate similar findings by the centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute that overweight adults are less likely than normal weight adults to die from a variety of diseases, including infections and lung disease.
All of which is, perhaps, a reminder to focus less on losing weight (at least where a few excess kilos are concerned) and more on achieving healthier eating and exercise habits.
Excess Pounds, but Not Too Many, May Lead to Longer Life [The New York Times]