The Slightly Fat Live Longer
But quality of life not as good, experts warn
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2013 4:33 AM CST
A 15-year-old girl has her sensor checked before starting a series of physical activities at a University of Southern California lab.   (AP Photo/Kim Johnson Flodin)

(Newser) – Being obese is likely to take years off your life, but those who are just a bit overweight actually appear to have a lower risk of premature death than those of normal weight, according to a startling new study. Researchers crunched the numbers on studies involving nearly 3 million people and found that people classed as overweight died at slightly lower rates than those with a normal body mass index, while those considered mildly obese didn't have a higher risk of premature death than the normal group, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Among over-65s, even the highly obese had no extra mortality risk. Experts say the apparent survival edge of the overweight could come down to many factors—extra reserves of fat during illness, more padding to protect elderly bones from falls, or perhaps the fact that the overweight are likelier to suffer medical conditions that bring them in regular contact with doctors. It's those chronic conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure, that make researchers hope the study won't start a stampede for the cookie aisle.

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Showing 3 of 13 comments
Chatsworth
Jan 4, 2013 6:43 PM CST
Well that's nice,but I STILL NEED TO LOSE 50 POUNDS SO MY BLOOD PRESSURE WILL BE NORMAL.Being fat isn't so great,lotta stress on the feet and in general, tiring.
dawnarun
Jan 2, 2013 4:24 PM CST
One of my boyfriend's buddies is a physical trainer. He told us that he noticed people who admit they've struggled with their weight their whole lives are much better at keeping their weight stable through diet or some exercise. He said people who never had to exercise or eat well to stay thin when they were young have more trouble adjusting. So maybe there is a correlation... People who are used to struggling with their weight are are better at sticking to healthy habits, even if only casually.
BrushMan
Jan 2, 2013 11:16 AM CST
Other benefits of being overweight is that your clothes are always uncomfortable, and always too big or too small. Normal sized furniture is uncomfortable. Your back is always sore when you are overweight. It is much less fun to hike or bike when one is fat. It is harder to stay in good shape. It is more difficult to get in and out of the car or theater seat. Moving is more of an effort. You have more health problems (diabetes, joints etc.) In other words, life is much less enjoyable for people that are overweight. So while extra pounds do not necessarily mean you will die more quickly, it DOES mean that you will have less enjoyment of life during the time you have.