A large-scale study confirms that a little overweight won't hurt you. This one analyzed "11,326 adults in Canada over a 12-year period using data from the National Population Health Survey."
This study found the advantage extending to a much larger age range. The population studied here was age 25 and older.
The most salient finding of this study was that the most unhealthy weight was one that produced a BMI under 18.5. People with that weight were 73% more likely to die than people with a normal BMI.
People with a BMI of 25-30 were 17% less likely to die than people with a normal weight. Even those classified officially as "obese," people with a BMI of 30-35, had a 5% lower risk of death than normal people.
Only those who were seriously obese, with a BMI was greater than 35, had a greater risk of death than normal, but that risk was only one half the risk the skinnies ran--36% as opposed to 73%.
The researchers who discovered this are falling all over themselves arguing the public should ignore their results and continue to fear fat. Obviously they are influenced by their religious belief that Fat Is Bad.
Since over 12 years, the overweight and modestly obese people in this large sample were outliving the others, you have to wonder why the researchers didn't do some sub-analyses to see how many of these longer living folk had diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Or, more importantly, whether they had been diagnosed with these conditions but had them under control. One almost wonders if these sub-analyses were done but turned up facts so incongruent with their religious belief the researchers dismissed them as impossible.
My own experience over the years has also been that the thin and often vegan people my region are the people most likely to get fatal cancers at young ages. I don't know if that is because the defects in their genes that make them susceptible to cancer also keep them from putting on weight and incline them towards the diets they prefer or what. But you have to wonder now that two major epidemiological studies have shown that thin kills.
As a final note: many of those who contact me are very worried because, while they can take off some weight eating a low carb diet and watching their blood sugars, their weight stalls above the normal range and their doctors continue to assure them that they'd be healthier if they could only lose that last, resistant 20 or 30 lbs.
This study suggests very strongly that their bodies know something their doctors do not and that the weight at which you stall after a serious diet effort that includes blood sugar control may very well be the healthiest weight for you.
Reuters: A few extra pounds can add years to your life: study
More Evidence That Overweight is The Healthiest Weight
Losing weight kills older folks