Researchers at UC Davis in California have found that overweight health risks are not as bad as you may fear. In fact, carrying extra weight did not increase the short-term risk of death in the study they conducted.
The study, which appears in the July/August issue of The Journal of American Board of Family Medicine, examined data from participants in the Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys on health-car usage and costs. Of the 50,994 people in the study, researchers found that people who were overweight (body mass index of 20-25) or even obese (BMI of 30 to 35) did not show an increased risk of death in the six years the study looked at. Those who are severely obese did show a higher risk of death (1.26 times greater during the six years of the study), but below that level, the added weight alone did not confer greater risk if the subject did not have a health condition such as diabetes or hypertension.
The scientists stress that this is just the opening salvo and would like to see more examination of the risk of extra pounds. But it's not the only study to show that mortality may not increase with added weight.
So maybe you can feel a little better about a little overweight health risks: if you stay healthy in other ways, those extra pounds may not count against you.