Study shows overweight seniors have longer lives than their counterparts

Share this article:

A new analysis has found that body weight does not necessarily correspond to longevity and that those carrying extra pounds outlive their thinner peers. The study also found that those who were slightly to moderately overweight at ages 65 and older had a lower mortality rate.

The report in the Journal of the American Medical Association was not the first to make the connection between weight and lifespan, but is the most intensive with data from nearly 100 studies and three million people, researchers say.

In an editorial coinciding with the paper, Steven Heymsfield, M.D., executive director of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana, wrote that overweight people whose indicators such as cholesterol “are in the abnormal range, then that weight is affecting you.” He added that if indicators are normal, there's no need to “go on a crash diet.”

Experts suggested that concepts of fat and the body mass index (BMI), which provides a ratio of height to weight should be revised. However, those in the highest obesity categories of BMI remained at high risk.

One possible factor for the findings is that the overweight or somewhat obese are already being treated for weight-associated conditions such as high cholesterol or diabetes. Some suggested fat could be protective in some cases. But experts were quick to say that individuals should not try to gain excessive weight to live longer.
Share this article:

More in News

'Minor' issues at the nursing home can cause disastrous care transitions, expert warns

'Minor' issues at the nursing home can cause ...

What may appear to be minor administrative problems in a nursing home - a fax machine locked away at night or no one designated to copy paperwork - can cause ...

Long-term care facilities approach 80% worker flu vaccination rate after handing power ...

Fourteen long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania dramatically increased their staff flu vaccination rate by having a regional pharmacy take over the process, according to a report issued Thursday by the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHQR).

RACs were 'most improved' healthcare auditors for getting back money in 2013, ...

Medicare Recovery Audit Contractors dramatically stepped up their overpayment recoveries last year, returning nearly $487 million more to the government than they did in 2012, according to a new report from a federal watchdog agency.