New research published Monday adds fuel to an ongoing debate in the public health community over whether a few extra pounds are good, or bad, for you.
Earlier research found that being somewhat overweight, but not obese, may result in a longer life.
But today’s study in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that being slightly overweight may actually decrease a person’s life span, which is more in line with conventional wisdom about weight.
So who’s right? It’s all about study design and statistical analysis.
Let’s start with the newest study, headed by demographer Andrew Stokes at Boston University School of Public Health. His group found a 6 percent increased risk of dying from any cause among individuals with a history of being overweight.