Being overweight could be good for you, say U.S. researchers

Being overweight might not be all bad as far as health risks go, claims a group of U.S. researchers. They say it does not appear to raise your risk of dying from cancer or heart disease - and may even help people survive some illnesses.

However, the chances of dying from diabetes and kidney disease go up as the bathroom scales rise - and those who are classified as obese rather than just overweight have a higher risk of death from a wide range of disorders including cancer and heart problems.

A new study in the Journal of the Amercian Medical Association says there is a "grey" area where being up to around a stone and a half overweight may not be all bad.

But the findings are disputed by some specialists who point out the study looks only at death - not sickness and disability - and it's all too easy for people to end up going from pleasantly plump to obese.

The new study is the second carried out by US Government scientists who two years ago first suggested that deaths from being too fat were overstated. The report further analyses the same data, this time looking at specific causes of death along with new mortality figures from 2004 for 2.3million U.S. adults.

Lead researcher Dr Katherine Flegal, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which funded the study, said: "Excess weight does not uniformly increase the risk of mortality from any and every cause, but only from certain causes."

Source - Daily Mail