Overweight People Somehow Less Likely to Die Than Skinnier People

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Happy for a reason. Photo: iStockphoto

Something to tell your annoying friends who made New Year's resolutions to eat more lettuce and enroll in cultlike exercise classes: The "largest and most carefully done" study of body-mass index and mortality suggests that people whose BMI ranked them as overweight are less likely to die than normal-weight people. Fat per se is not as bad as we thought, Dr. Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh, professor of medicine and public health at the University of California, Irvine, told the Times. What is bad is a type of fat that is inside your belly, he said. Non-belly fat, underneath your skin in your thigh and your butt area these are not necessarily bad. As it turns out, fat may even be protective and nutritional for the elderly. As expected, some experts are critical of this enabling study because factors like blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes weren't taken into consideration. So maybe don't give up jogging just yet. [NYT]