Could a Few Extra Pounds Help You Live Longer?

Postato in Articoli e Pubblicazioni

Could a Few Extra Pounds Help You Live Longer?

A new Danish study provides more data but does not resolve the question.

By Christine Gorman

The report adds to the growing evidence that carrying a little bit of extra weight—especially after midlife—might not be as bad for your health as was once thought. Credit: Thinkstock (MARS) People who are slightly overweight but not obese—as defined by their body mass index (BMI)— tend to live longer than their normal-weight counterparts, according to a new Danish study. But that has not always been the case. In the 1970s, the Danish data show, study subjects with the best chance of living longer tended to have a BMI in the normal range, defined as being between 18.5 and 25. Someone who is 1.65 meters (five feet, four inches) tall and weighs 68 kilograms (150 pounds) would have a BMI of 25. At the extremes—of severe underweight or obesity—the Danish data show an increased risk of dying from all causes, particularly cardiovascular disease. The cutoff for considering whether someone is obese may be different, however, for different races and ethnicities. (All the Danes studied were white.) Asians from the Indian subcontinent are a case in point. South Asians tend to have more body fat for the same BMI compared with other groups. So the deleterious effects associated with weight gain tend to show up at lower absolute weights for them.

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