Is being overweight good for health?

Doctors now say being overweight is good for health

IT’S A BOLD claim in the current climate, but a new study claims that being overweight may in fact be good for your health.

Medical researchers in the US have infuriated public health professionals with their study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The research contradicts advice to the public, saying having a little extra padding, but not too much, may help people live longer.

Whilst being overweight can increase the chances of dying from diabetes and kidney disease – the same is not true for other ailments including cancer and heart disease, the report suggests.

Lifelong dieters may be relieved by the news, but with obesity being one of the main health threats in the US, some say the results give out a dangerous message to people who are overweight.

Lead researcher, Katherine Flegal said: ‘The take-home message is that the relationship between fat and mortality is more complicated than we tend to think. It’s not a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all situation where excess weight just increases your mortality risk for any and all causes of death.’

However Walter Willett, the professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health was outraged by the findings saying: ‘It’s just rubbish. It’s ludicrous to say there is no increased risk of mortality from being overweight.’

The end result, the scientists say, is that modestly overweight people demonstrate a lower death rate than their peers who are underweight, obese or – most surprisingly – normal weight.

Reading now

Popular