What’s Really the IDEAL Weight To Live Longer?

July 2, 2009

My brother in law’s blog article had this title: A Little Extra Weight can Make you Live Longer! 

That obviously caught my attention.  So searching the source of the article was actually published in the  OBESITY journal  June 2009.  Below is the abstract:


Although a clear risk of mortality is associated with obesity, the risk of mortality associated with overweight is equivocal. The objective of this study is to estimate the relationship between BMI and all-cause mortality in a nationally representative sample of Canadian adults.

A sample of 11,326 respondents aged 25 in the 1994/1995 National Population Health Survey (Canada) was studied using Cox proportional hazards models.

  • A significant increased risk of mortality over the 12 years of follow-up was observed for underweight (BMI <18.5; relative risk (RR) = 1.73, P < 0.001) and obesity class II+ (BMI >35; RR = 1.36, P <0.05).
  • Overweight (BMI 25 to <30) was associated with a significantly decreased risk of death (RR = 0.83, P < 0.05).
  • The RR was close to one for obesity class I (BMI 30–35; RR = 0.95, P >0.05).

Our results are similar to those from other recent studies, confirming that underweight and obesity class II+ are clear risk factors for mortality, and showing that when compared to the acceptable BMI category, overweight appears to be protective against mortality. Obesity class I was not associated with an increased risk of mortality.


But a Word of Caution …..

As clearly stated by Mark Kaplan, DrPH, the coauthor: “Our study only looked at mortality, not at quality of life, and there are many negative health consequences associated with obesity, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.”

What made the study interesting were the following outcomes:

  • Overweight individuals were 17 percent less likely to die than normal weight inidividuals. 
  • Not surprising are the outcomes for the underweight people as they were noted to be 70 percent more likely than people of normal weight to die. 
  • The same outcome was noted with the extremely obese people who were 36 percent more likely to die.

The problem of the study is it only looked at mortality data and nothing else. One may have lived longer but the quality of life due to disabling complications arising from chronic conditions associated with obesity is poor. 

And this has always been our battle cry for a healthy lifestyle and achieve a healthy normal weight:

  •  To reduce the risk for chronic diseases that can cause disability and that
  •  Excess weight can shorten your lifespan…

The bottom line is: 

  • A Little overweight is better than having excess weight BUT

  • Normal weight should continue to be The Goal … and always

  • AIM to Achieve a healthy lifestyle to live longer because:

 Quality is More Important Than Quantity!

4 Responses to “What’s Really the IDEAL Weight To Live Longer?”

  1. wilson ng Says:

    The study is a good excuse to eat a little more!!!!

  2. Doc Gerry Says:

    hahaha…I agree. But glad you found the article..really interesting.

  3. Im glad I located this webpage, I couldnt obtain any knowledge on this subject matter before. Also operate a website and in case you are ever interested in doing some visitor writing for me make sure you feel free to let me know, im always look for people to check out my blog site. Please stop by and leave a comment sometime!

  4. Kaylin Says:

    I thank you humbly for shranig your wisdom JJWY

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