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Overweight people live longer

People who are overweight – but not obese – tend to live longer than people who are underweight or normal weight, according to a new study.

The Canadian study was published in the online journal Obesity, and found that people who were underweight or extremely obese (based on their body mass index or BMI) died the earliest reports WebMD.

BMI measures body fat based on a person's height and weight, and classifies people into four broad weight categories -- underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obese.

Those who were slightly overweight, with a BMI of between 25 and 29.0, lived longer even than those whose weight fell in the ‘normal’ BMI range of 18-24.

It’s not the first piece of research to suggest that those padded with a tiny amount of extra insulation tend to live longer than those missing out.

US Center for Disease Control researchers also found the same thing in a 2005 study, while another group of scientists said last month that heart patients who were overweight lived longer than thin ones.

These studies generally suggest that slightly overweight – but not obese – people survive better than those with higher or lower BMIs.

The latest study used data from an ongoing health survey in Canada that followed over 11,000 adults from the mid-90’s to 2007.

It found that compared to those in the ‘normal’ weight category, those classified as overweight with a BMI of 25-29.9 were 17% less likely to die.

• Those who were underweight were 73% more likely to die
• Those who were obese with a BMI 30-34.9 had about the same risk of death as a ‘normal’ weight person
• Extremely obese people with a BMI of 35 and higher were 36% more likely to die.

Study co-author David Feeny PhD said to WebMD there’s no hard evidence, only theories why a little extra weight could extend your longevity.

Weight management expert Keith Bachman MD, said that because the study didn’t also examine disease incidence or quality of life - only death risk, the risk vs. benefit profile of carrying extra weight was unclear.

"Good health is more than a BMI or a number on a scale," he said to WebMD. "We know that people who choose a healthy lifestyle enjoy better health."

Dr Feeny concurred that exercising regularly, eating well, managing stress, and treating risk factors for chronic disease is probably more important for longevity than having the perfect BMI score.

Comments and questions

i am almost certain any skinny person eating a vegan raw food diet will outlive with less disease than anyother. over weight people still have health issues. the only reason they live longer is becasuse their fat selves can afford diabetes medical equipment

Then why are our teeth designed to eat meat?

From the tone of your comment it seems like maybe vegan raw food eaters don't live longer, it just feels longer because it makes them so naaasty

Drew - you have thus notcied a link between vegans and ability to afford medicine.

Bring on the pies, KFC, Maccas, etc. Kick in the Les Mills membership, etc.

People who are fit and healthy with extra muscle tend to find themselves in the 'overweight' category. Many underweight people are actually overly stressed. These factors can add to reduced longevity.

Muscle does weigh more than fat, and sometimes it's ok to be a little over the 'normal' bmi if you're quite strong.

It's all about balance.

I bet Michael Jackson was underweight .. so that must proove it ... huh ..?!

Maybe a few extra pounds reduces risk of drowning (extra buoyancy), risk of exposure (extra insulation) and starvation (extra food supplies). I'm sure the fatties on the titanic lasted the longest.

@mr/s 'Anonymous'

next time you're at the zoo, take a look at the odontological pattern of a lion, tiger or bear

if you see a resemblance when *you* look in the mirror and go 'Ahhh", either hop in the cage -or- visit your nearest dentist/doctor/health professional for treatment

ciao for now



We're omnivores, retard.

This report would lamost suggest that "normal" is perhaps underweight, and what is termed slightly overweight is more healthy. It seems that we might have normal wrong.

Regardless of weight, I think we are all 100% certain to die - not sure about that, but I think there is a large body of evidence and research that will prove this statistic is pretty close to being accurate. People who eat are more likely to live longer than those who do not eat too - again I think the research will prove this to be correct.

It is a well known fact that the most dangerous drug there is, is food. There is no case where a person who has started taking food has failed to die, or will die in a few more years. The withdrawal symptoms are horrendous, and this drug makes 'P' look positively benign

Is the way modern media see health, thus the misconception that skinny=healthy.
A youth obsessed society(media) results in such dumb results.
Visit an old peoples home and see how many skinny buggas there are, they are not in the majority thats for sure.

Rich people live longer than poor ones. Being overweight has always been a sign of being rich. Few people people can afford the food required to be overweight. It is no surprise the the grossly underweight are also the very poor. There are many so called celebs in the media with low body weight, but these are so few in number as not to have any significance at all in statistics.

No longer. Quite the inverse in fact - it's poor people who can only afford the cheap calories of so much 'modern', processed food.

Healthy food, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, is generally more expensive, and takes longer to prepare, than processed, hi-fat, hi-sugar, hi-salt, nutrient-deficient packaged food.

You're right about rich people living longer, but clearly you don't hang out with that many of them - they're the ones that can afford personal trainers and organic produce.

Like that corny joke in the movie Kingdom of Heaven "It is certain death"...."all death is certain".

We'll all die someday , but its interesting to know that you'll have a longer life if you live it to the full....

Which is that regardless of what you weigh, a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE is what's important. Previously folks assumed just because someone is slightly overweight they have a higher risk of death but these scientists are theorizing, based on study results, that's not necessarily the case.

Also, @ Roberto: Human dentition suggests we are omnivores. Like primates and bears. ;)

i don't believe the study. the overweight people have a lot of problems because of the overweight. so they will die from other diseases. they should be encouraged to loose weight, to chance the fat for muscles. i am sure that skinny people are more healthier. and if they want to gain weight, some Buy Steroids Online and exercises make them more solid and healthy.

Which is that regardless of what you weigh, a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE is what's important.
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I am obese and never eat junk food. Eat mainly low fat, complex low gi carbs, don't drink alcohol. For years and years. Perhaps we should not assume that obese people live an unhealthy life style.

I am obese and never eat junk food. Eat mainly low fat, complex low gi carbs, don't drink alcohol. For years and years. Perhaps we should not assume that obese people live an unhealthy life style.

I think it's the same ol debate of nature vs nurture. One's heritage, genetics, 1st, 2nd, 3rd generational life lines seem to be a better predictor of what you're in store for. Not to say genetic paths & future outcomes can't be "slightly altered" with diet & lifestyle....but we're "wired" the way we're wired. As my cardiologist puts it: "it's in the cards you're dealt at birth".