An obesity paradox was found in a recent review of nearly 100 past studies that covered almost 3 million people, according to a Jan. 1 report from Reuters. The researchers discovered that overweight or slightly obese people had around a 6 percent lower risk of death when the results were compared to those who had "normal weight."
However, severe or morbidly obese people still have nearly a 30 percent higher chance of dying.
The thought that being overweight could mean better health is an obesity paradox. Katherine Flegal, CDC senior scientist and lead author of the study says,
"This is actually the common finding,"
Counter arguments have risen that suggest the pattern is merely statistical, because being elderly and thin usually points to a sign of a serious illness - therefore those that are thinner seem to have a higher mortality rate.
Dr. Steven Heymsfield, executive director of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center says,
"The study results certainly do not give people permission to pack on extra pounds. The difference in mortality between overweight and normal weight people is probably very small. It's probably only statistically significant because of the large number she had in her study."