New research published Monday adds fuel to an ongoing debate in the public health community over whether a few extra pounds are good, or bad, for you.
Earlier research found that being somewhat overweight, but not obese, may result in a longer life.
But today’s study in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that being slightly overweight may actually decrease a person’s life span, which is more in line with conventional wisdom about weight.
According to Tucson.com, “The results undercut the so-called “obesity paradox” — a theory that obesity could protect the health of some people and even give them a survival advantage, said senior study author Andrew Stokes. He’s an assistant professor of global health with the Boston University School of Public Health. “We found that after considering weight history, the apparent paradoxical association between overweight/obesity and the risk of dying completely disappeared,” Stokes said.”
The American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC) wrote that the new study “shows that looking at a person’s body mass index over an extended period gives a fuller picture of the relationship between excess weight and mortality. ”
The so-called “obesity paradox” has confounded researchers and raised alarms among those in public health, who feared that warnings about being overweight would not be taken seriously. This new study, involving researchers from Boston University and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, found that the head-scratching was justified—it replicated the earlier results but then showed how a single snapshot of a person’s weight doesn’t tell the whole story.
LiveScience.com added, “The new finding is “important from a public health perspective, given that about one-third of adults in the U.S. and more than a quarter of the world’s population is overweight,” study author Edward Yu, a graduate student at the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health in Boston, said in a statement. “This is more reason why people should follow a healthy lifestyle and try to keep a normal weight,” Yu said.”
Share your thoughts on the new study and whether you believe it carries more or less weight than the obesity paradox research. Working together with our partners to dig deeper into the health issues making headlines will help us not only better understand these ever-evolving stories, it will also help us take another step toward of our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!