Study: Overweight People Less Likely to Die than Healthy People


fat-stomachA century ago, Elsie Scheel was the perfect woman. So said a 1912 article in The New York Times about how Miss Scheel, 24, was chosen by the “medical examiner of the 400 ‘co-eds’ ” at Cornell University as a woman “whose very presence bespeaks perfect health.”

Miss Scheel, however, was hardly model-thin. At 5-foot-7 and 171 pounds, she would, by today’s medical standards, be clearly overweight. (Her body mass index was 27; 25 to 29.9 is overweight.)

But a new report suggests that Miss Scheel may have been onto something. The report on nearly three million people found that those whose B.M.I. ranked them as overweight had less risk of dying than people of normal weight. And while obese people had a greater mortality risk over all, those at the lowest obesity level (B.M.I. of 30 to 34.9) were not more likely to die than normal-weight people.


{ Newscenter}


  1. hey – I like this report. There is a possibility that my wife won’t be on my case anymore. (no guarantee 🙂 Who knows what else they’ll come up with?

  2. Actually, 100% of people, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, size, allergies, and even itches will die. It’s been a proven statistic since the time that Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden. That is correct – 100% of the human race die.

  3. One study doesn’t make a new truth (although I do agree with this one slightly). However, being VERY overweight isn’t good for you either. Talk to your doctor. You may be at risk for other things that overweight is bad for (like heart attacks or Type II diabetes).

  4. Aside from the idiocy of the title, as pointed out by #2, the first three paragraphs of the article, which are all that are quoted in this Matzav item, are taken out of context.

    Please read the entire article before running to the cholent.

  5. Overweight people have slightly different mortality curve than general population, precisely because it’s a risk factor (no different than, say, being 100 years old). Welcome to the world of H-index.

  6. Rather, he and others said, the report, in The Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests that B.M.I., a ratio of height to weight, should not be the only indicator of healthy weight.

    “Body mass index is an imperfect measure of the risk of mortality,” and factors like blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar must be considered, said Dr. Samuel Klein, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.