Study: Weight Lessens Some Causes of Death

Infections, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's less likely to kill overweight people
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2007 1:40 PM CST
An overweight person eats in London, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2007. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Overweight people are much less likely to die of a plethora of diseases, federal researchers announced today, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, infections, and lung disease. This gives them a lower mortality rate than people of normal weight, despite higher risk of heart disease and diabetes. “If we use the criteria of mortality, then the term ‘overweight’ is a misnomer,” one professor said.

Don’t reach for the Twinkies yet, though. “Health extends far beyond mortality rates,” one doctor tells the New York Times, and obese people, as opposed to merely overweight ones, do keel over faster, with heart disease the main culprit. The underweight were no better off, being more susceptible to everything except heart disease and cancer.