Friday, December 04, 2009

Why You Should Not Be Too Skinny?

While being overweight or obese is definitely not healthy, people who are skinny are neither preferable. Why?

Because of modern lifestyle, number of people who are overweight or obese is increasing at a fairly fast rate. As we know, overweight or obesity can easily lead to many other diseases including diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol and heart disease. However, it seems that being very skinny is even more dangerous than being overweight or obese.

Japanese researchers from Tohoku University's Graduate School of Medicine recently (June 2009) found that slightly overweight people at the age of 40 could live 6 to 7 years longer than those very skinny people, who have an average life expectancy that is shorter by some 5 years than that of obese people.

The researchers did expect thin people to have shorter life expectancy but were surprised to discover such a large difference.

Working on middle-aged and elderly people, the long-term study involved 50,000 people between the age of 40 and 79 over a period of 12 years in the modern Japanese prefecture of Miyagi. The participants were divided into 4 groups at the age of 40 according to their BMI (body mass index).

BMI is the ratio of a person’s weight in kilos over the square of height in meters. BMI lower than 18.5 is classified as underweight. When BMI is between 18.5 and 25, the person is considered normal. Once the BMI exceeds 25 but lower than 30, the person is slightly overweight and once BMI exceeds 30, the person is considered as obese.

It was thought that thin people having shorter lives because many of them are either sick or smoke. However, the difference remained almost the same, even eliminating these 2 factors.

The researchers argued that skinny people were of shorter lifespan because they are vulnerable to disease such as pneumonia and the fragility of their blood vessels.

Nevertheless, people were not advised to eat as much as they want. Instead, the researchers recommended that thin people should try to gain normal weight but people with normal weight should never be putting on their weight.

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