Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Overweight people live longer

The health experts say that you are overweight if your BMI is over 25, and obese if it is over 30. Now it turns out that overweight people live the longest:
People who are overweight but not obese have a lower risk of death than those of normal weight, federal researchers are reporting today.

The researchers - statisticians and epidemiologists from the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - also found that increased risk of death from obesity was seen for the most part in the extremely obese, a group constituting only 8 percent of Americans.

And being very thin, even though the thinness was longstanding and unlikely to stem from disease, caused a slight increase in the risk of death, the researchers said.
My BMI is 27. I think that my weight is ideal. Apparently people with my BMI live the longest. They need to adjust the BMI tables.

This is being reported as saying that overweight people live longer. My point is that athletic people have extra muscle mass, and get falsely classified as being overweight because the BMI tables do not distinguish between muscle and fat. Perhaps the conclusion should have been that athletic people live longer.

Here is the JAMA abstract.

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