Experts reject claims that extra weight is healthy
Jeremy Laurance is a writer on health issues. He is former health editor of The Independent and the i and has covered the specialism for more than 20 years. He thinks the harm medicine does is under-appreciated, the harm it prevents over-rated, and that cycling works better than most drugs. He was named Specialist Journalist of the Year in the 2011 British Press Awards.
Thursday 03 January 2013
It was, given its timing, unexpectedly good news: as thousands were poised to begin New Year diets, US researchers reported on 1 January that being overweight could extend your life.
But rather than celebrate, UK experts today tried to pour cold water on the findings – exactly as the chief author of the study, Katherine Flegal, predicted they would.
Dr Flegal, from the National Centre for Health Statistics in Maryland, and her team reviewed almost 100 studies of the link between weight and mortality, involving nearly 3 million people.
Their findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), showed those who were overweight (with a Body Mass Index of 25 to 30) and those who were mildly obese (with a BMI up to 35) had a 5 to 6 per cent lower chance of dying prematurely than "normal weight" individuals (18.5 to 25 BMI).
Professor Nick Finer, of University College Hospital, said BMI was an "imperfect measure" which depended on additional factors such as blood pressure and cholesterol. Professor Stephen O'Rahilly, of the University of Cambridge Metabolic Research Laboratories, said: "The lack of adverse effects on mortality of mild obesity and the apparent slight reduction in death rate... should not be taken to mean that such states are not likely to be harmful to health."
Life & Style blogs
Ebola outbreak: Why has a disease that's only ever killed 2,000 people captivated the darkest side of our imagination?
Ebola virus: UK health officials issue warning to doctors as experts admit the outbreak 'is not under control'
National Orgasm Day: Don't get caught up on climaxing
Watch: Vogue Italia's plus-size models in fetish-inspired lingerie shoot
Ebola: UK is ready to deal with outbreak, says Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond
- 1 Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
- < Previous
- Next >
£60000 - £90000 per annum + Car, Pension, Healthcare: Progressive Recruitment:...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Car, Healthcare, Pensions: Progressive Recruitment...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: PHP Developer - MySQL, RDBMS, Applicatio...
£60000 - £75000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Senior SAP B...