Another study shows it’s better to be a bit overweight

In 1993-1994, demographic data were collected on a sample of 11,326 Canadians over the age of 25. The Cox proportional hazards model was used to determine the effect of BMI on mortality over a twelve year period. It was found that people who were overweight but not obese — BMI from 25 to 29.9 — had lower mortality than people of so-called normal weight (B.M.I. of 18.5 to 24.9).

According to an article in the New York Times:

“Overweight may not be the problem we thought it was,” said Dr. David H. Feeny, a senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore., and one of the authors of the study. “Overweight was protective.”

The abstract is available on-line.


2 Responses

  1. I’m wondering about a theory that would support these results. I can think of theories that would work in the opposite direction (e.g., restricted calorie diet), but not this direction. Most studies I’ve heard of with similar results weren’t controlling for smoking, but now that they are, I don’t know what to think. Any thoughts?

  2. Here’s the simplest one I can think of: the body needs nourishment, and up to a certain point, more is better than less.

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