Folks who are just slightly overweight but have resolved to lose weight in the new year may give their plans second thoughts in the wake of a controversial new federal analysis
People who are overweight by up to 30 or so pounds have a slightly lower risk of early death than those at a normal weight, the government analysis finds.
The review of 97 studies showed that people who are extremely obese — roughly 60 or more pounds over a normal weight — have a greater risk of dying early than those who are at a normal weight.
About two-thirds of people in the USA are too heavy; a third are obese, which is roughly 35 or more pounds over a normal weight. Obesity is linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and many types of cancer.
Katherine Flegal and colleagues at the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reviewed the studies, which tracked 3 million adults from around the world. The research looked at deaths from all reasons and people’s body mass index (BMI), a number that considers weight and height.
The standard BMI categories included: normal weight (a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9); overweight (BMI of 25 to 30); obese (a BMI of 30 or more); extremely obese (a BMI of 35 or more).
Findings, published in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association, show that relative to normal-weight people those who were:
Extremely obese had a 29% increased risk of early death.
Obese had an 18% increased risk of early death. Overweight had a 6% lower risk of early death. –USA TODAY