Study Shows Being Overweight May Lead to Longer Life?

By Emily Murray

Now that we have all wrung in the New Year with perhaps a bit of indulgence, it’s time to be bombarded with weight loss ad after weight loss ad. It’s a bit of a vicious cycle.  So what are we  to make of the latest study that seems to contradict our previous beliefs about being overweight?

The Study

It appears that there is a link between being overweight and having a lower risk of mortality. This new research was released in the Journal of the American Medical Association and provided a review of more than 100 previously published reviews. The research included 2.88 million people worldwide. As stands to reason, obesity is a different story than being overweight when it comes to mortality. It’s been proven time and again that those who are obese typically suffer from an array of health issues related to their weight. Those who are overweight however fall into a different category.

This research shines a light on the current BMI (body mass index) used in the medical world and how it can be better able to predict longevity.

As explained in a TIME article on the subject, this same conclusion has been drawn by researchers before but it’s difficult for the public to accept and often the idea has been poorly received – it doesn’t mean that it’s not the truth however.

The conclusion of the study showed that of all the subjects who were overweight (not obese), they were 6% less like to die  during the period of the study than those participants as a weight that was considered normal by medical standards.

The study author and co-author believe that this result might come from the fact that those who are overweight get better health care. They may show symptoms sooner than those who are normal weight and they are screened earlier on for diseases known to befall those who are heavier.

Does this mean those who are normal weight should strive to pack on the pounds?

Sadly no, which is sure to disappoint those who are still left with the temptation of holiday leftovers and baked goods in their house.