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For those whose resolution is failing, some comfort. A new study has indicated that people who are just a little overweight will live longer than those who are either obese or thin. Data from 100 hundred worldwide studies was analysed involving nearly three million people, 270, 000 of whom died over the course of the studies.
As expected, they found that those who were severely obese (with a BMI of more than 35) had shorter lifespans on average than those who were a normal weight (BMI of 18.5 and 19.9). However, even including and accounting for other factors like smoking and alcohol consumption, the team found that those who were slightly overweight had lower death rates than their slimmer counterparts. They were 6% less likely to die during the period of study than those deemed to be a normal healthy weight.
Dr Stephen B Heymsfield, in the Journal of the American Medical Association speculated that some fat protects against falls, helps to aid recovery after periods of serious injury and also led to more detection and prevention (through medicine) of conditions like high blood pressure and cardio-vascular disease.
The study, however, remains controversial, with other experts pointing out that the study only looked at death rates, not length of life of years of healthy living.
Many studies have also shown though that it is fitness and exercise that outweigh thinness. Even while carrying an extra few pounds, those that take part in regal;ar exercise live longer and healthier lives than those who are thin but do not do any exercise at all.
So our advice is, eat healthily, exercise, focus on getting fitter (not obsessing with weight loss too much) and you will probably get a bit lighter, and certainly have a longer and better life. This ethos is part of the Diet’s Don’t Work ethos and a cornerstone of our method.