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Be Overweight and Live Longer, German Statisticians Conclude

  [ 58 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
www.ProHealth.com • October 17, 2009


Contrary to what was previously assumed, overweight is not increasing the overall death rate in the German population. Men who are overweight even have a 7% lower death rate.

Matthias Lenz of the Faculty of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Natural Sciences of the University of Hamburg and his co-authors present these and other results in the current issue of Deutsches Ärtzeblatt International.

• Most Germans are overweight - with a body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 29.9 kg/m2.

• About 20% are obese (BMI of 30 or over), with age- and gender-related differences.

The authors systematically evaluated 42 studies of the relationships between weight, life expectancy, and disease. Their free access report - “The Morbidity and Mortality Associated with Overweight and Obesity in Adulthood” - shows that:

• Overweight does not increase death rates,

• Although obesity does increase them by 20%.

• As people grow older, obesity makes less and less difference.

• For coronary heart disease, overweight increases risk by about 20% and obesity increases it by about 50%.

• On the other hand, a larger BMI is associated with a lower risk of bone and hip fracture.

• In relation to cancer, the overall death rate among even extremely obese men (BMI above 40) is no higher than among those of normal weight.

• Men who are overweight even have a 7% lower death rate. No significant association was found in women.

According to the authors' analysis, overall mortality is unchanged by overweight, but increased by 20% by obesity, while extreme obesity raises it by up to 200%.

Source: Deutsches Arzteblatt International news release, Oct 16, 2009




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