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Study finds elderly overweight people live longer

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The general message has always been to have a healthy weight, usually determined by the Body Mass Index (BMI). A new study, however, has found that being slightly overweight when older can let you live longer.

The Australian study had found that elderly people above the age of 70 who, according to the BMI scale, are out of the normal range and in the slightly overweight range, had a lower mortality rate.

According to the BBC, the study, conducted at the University of Western Australia, set out to determine “what level of body mass index (BMI) was associated with the lowest risk of death in the elderly”. The study suggests that dieting may not be a healthy option for people in this age group.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society

, tested 9,240 individuals, the LA Times reports.

The study found that men and women who were slightly overweight at the age of 70 showed lower mortality rates over the next ten years than the men and women who fit into the “normal” BMI range.

The study’s lead author Leon Flickr of the University of Western Australia said. “These results add evidence to the claims that the [World Health Organization] BMI thresholds for overweight and obese are overly restrictive for older people. It may be timely to review the BMI classification for older adults.”

While proven here to be beneficial, being overweight usually comes hand in hand with health problems; learn more about obesity and cholesterol. Also, learn more about a study that has found a hormone called ghrelin is responsible for snacking.

Many celebrities have battled weight issues, including Oprah Winfrey and Kirstie Alley.

Image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pepperoni_pizza.jpg, courtesy: pdphoto.org

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