Is Slightly Overweight Healthier?

Can being slightly overweight lead to a longer life?  A new study on that has created quite a stir among obesity experts.

The research was reported last week, in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It suggested that slightly overweight people were less likely to die prematurely than people with a “healthy” weight.

Being underweight or severely obese did cut life expectancy.

According to the BBC, one doctor has called the findings a “pile of rubbish” while another said it was a “horrific message” to put out.

Responding to the report, Professor John Wass at the Royal College of Physicians in Great Britain says “Have you ever seen a 100-year-old human being who is overweight? The answer is you probably haven’t.”

Wass points out that the largest people in society will die prematurely, suffer a variety of health problems and have higher levels of Type 2 diabetes.

He says “Huge pieces of evidence go against this, countless other studies point in the other direction.”

Possible explanations for the study’s results included overweight people being more likely to receive medical treatment, such as medication to control blood pressure, or the extra weight helped them survive being severely ill in hospital.

Also, criticizing the study was Walter Willett, from the Harvard School of Public Health.  He says “This is an even greater pile of rubbish” than a study conducted by the same group in 2005.  So tell us what you REALLY think!

To read the American Heart Association’s recommendations on body weight and diet, just go to and click “Getting Healthy.”

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM

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