Being slightly overweight could help you live longer. A surprising conclusion from a paper published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
The researchers compiled data from 97 studies which contained the body mass index (BMI) of over 2.88 million individuals and recorded more than 270,000 deaths. They separated the obese individuals into 3 grades and found that people in grades 2 and 3 (more obese than group 1) had a higher mortality than people in the normal weight and grade 1 obese groups. Surprisingly though, people who were slightly overweight had a lower mortality rate than the people in the normal weight group.
So does this mean a little extra fat is good for you? Before you reach for that second helping of dessert, other researchers have pointed out that although it is an interesting study, the reality is a lot more complex than comparing BMI to mortality rates.
The review is available free of charge from the JAMA website.