by Marion Nestle
Nov 7 2007
Better to be overweight? Maybe for some causes of death, but not others
And now we have an MSNBC report of a study just out in JAMA. The summary is a confusing mess to read but the bottom line is that being overweight increases the risk of death from some diseases but not others. Overweight, for example, cushions against pneumonia and other infectious diseases. Obesity increases the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancers considered to be obesity-related but not other types of cancers. Didn’t we know this already? The headline–and my guess is that we will see more of these–seems to be that it takes more than 25 pounds overweight to do this on average. Maybe, if risk factors like blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar remain at reasonable levels.