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Overweight Individuals May Lead A Longer Life, Says JAMA Study

Posted by on February 26, 2013

Being overweight is the cause of a host of health risks that contribute to a shorter lifespan, right?

Not necessarily, says a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Bucking common belief, the study indicates that being overweight may actually lead to a longer life. The finding is compelling to say the least.

The surprising conclusion resulted from a detailed examination of more than 100 previously published research papers involving health, body weight and mortality of nearly 3 million people worldwide. The results indicate that, yes, obese people, particularly those who are extremely obese, tend to have more health risks and higher mortality rate that those who aren’t overweight.

But the key is the obesity factor. The findings reveal that those are overweight but not necessarily obese may live longer than people with critically normal body weight. How is this possible?

The link is not yet determined, but the study’s authors suspect that overweight people get better medical care because they are likely screened more often for chronic diseases, diabetes, and other health problems. These screenings tend to reveal medical needs more often than those who don’t undergo these screenings.

In other words, overweight people may live longer because they go to the doctor more often. This is a theory to contemplate. It seems to solidify the notion that regular medical checkups are critical to healthy living.

The study’s authors also offer another potential reason for the findings. They suggest that infections, viruses and diseases can cause people to lose weight. With a certain amount of weight loss comes a certain amount of risk of mortality. Yet, if one is overweight they have more weight to lose. Thus if they get sick and lose weight they may be insulated from the side effects of massive weight loss.

Either way it’s sliced the findings revealed here are enough to make anyone scratch their head. It makes you wonder how you will answer the next time you are asked to supersize your value meal.

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