Is Being a Little Overweight Good For You?

So you read the title of this blog and you are saying, what?  Being overweight good for you?  Are you crazy Dr. K?

According to a recent study by the Journal of the American Medical Association, having a few more pounds on you could help you to live longer.  Optimal word here being “could”.  How can this be?  This goes against the foundation of everything we taught the general public since the beginning of modern medicine.

Well, this study takes a new look at people who had a few extra pounds versus those who were obese or were a normal weight.   The study which lasted two decades included almost 3 million people.    The studies conclude that people with BMI’s under 30 but above normal were less likely to die than people with normal BMI’s.   Do you know what BMI is?  BMI stands for Body Mass Index and it calculates a ratio between your height and weight.  It’s pretty easy to calculate.  Here’s a calculator to help you figure out what your BMI is.

People that were slightly overweight had a risk of death which was 6% less than people with normal BMI.  People that were obese had an 18% increased risk of death.

So what do we make of this?  Does it mean you should go out and start slamming Big Macs and Whoppers?  Umm, no.  I’m not saying that.  Here’s the rest of the story.

This study only looked at the association between death and body size, it didn’t calculate “quality of life”.  Being overweight can carry some health risks in and of itself, such as diabetes.  This study only suggest that if you are healthy and slightly overweight, it may not be the worst thing in the world.  It doesn’t advocate training for hot dog eating contests.

So what do you think?

If you need help figure out if you are healthy or need to see a doctor about a health problem, feel free to contact our office or set up an appointment online with us.

Here’s to Your Health

Dr. K Bennett