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'Healthy' Diet = Weight gain Benefits of being overweight How Carbs Cause Weight Gain BMI Calculator

The benefit of being overweight

Overweight is healthier than underweight

There is one other consideration: The health and longevity consequences of being overweight.

The 'weight loss industry' has created a popular belief that being overweight and obese leads inevitably to a premature death. This belief is nurtured with the backing of an enormous throng of marketing and political interests to lay the foundation for a money-making 'obesity' industry.

The truth is quite different: Being overweight is not bad as you might think.

Indeed the healthiest weight is not the 'normal' BMI between 18.5 and 25, it is actually the 'overweight' BMI range of between 25-30.

A recent study found that being underweight is much more dangerous that being overweight. Being thin is 25% more dangerous than being the government recommended "normal" weight (BMI 18.5-25).[1] This is riskiest of all for those over age 60 and puts them at double the risk of 'normal' weight. It's even riskier than being very obese (BMI over 35)!

So, if you are happy with the weight you are, but are thinking you should lose weight for your health's sake, you may wish to reconsider.

Apples or pears?

But there is one fly in the ointment. That depends on where your excess fat is situated. If you are 'pear shaped', with fat around your hips and thighs, that is healthy and nothing you need to worry about. Women are this shape naturally.

If on the other hand you are 'apple shaped' with all your excess fat around your middle (a typical male pattern), then that is indicative of insulin resistance and, ultimately, diabetes. This is not healthy.


1. Flegal KM, Graubard BI, Williamson DF, Gail MH. Excess deaths associated with underweight, overweight, and obesity. JAMA 2005; 293: 1861-1867.

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Last updated 23 January 2009

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