Two years ago a group of researchers released a report that crushed popular belief that overweight results in a higher mortality rate. The scientists found that people with overweight live longer than people with normal weight or underweight.
After further investigation the researchers released a new report which links diseases to specific weights. They claim people with a BMI between 25 and 30 are more at risk to die from cancer or diabetes but that they are much less likely to die from a grab bag of other diseases like Alzheimer, Parkinson, infections and lung disease.
However, the research data indicates this is only the case if your BMI is between 25 and 30, really obese people with a BMI of 30 or greater have a higher mortality rate than people with a normal weight.
The researchers also confirmed that obese people and people whose weights are below normal have higher death rates than people of normal weight. But, when they asked why, they found that the reasons were different for the different weight categories.
Some who studied the relation between weight and health said the nation might want to reconsider what are ideal weights.
“If we use the criteria of mortality, then the term ‘overweight’ is a misnomer,” said Daniel McGee, professor of statistics at Florida State University.
“I believe the data,” said Dr. Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, a professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego. A body mass index of 25 to 30, the so-called overweight range, “may be optimal,” she said.
Others said there were plenty of reasons that being overweight was not desirable.
“Health extends far beyond mortality rates,” said Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.