You really can’t have your cake and live longer too

Now researchers at the Australian National University have poured cold water on one of those myths – perhaps favoured by those at the cuddly end of the BMI chart – that overweight people live longer.

“The clear truth is that people who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of premature death,” said lead author Dr Grace Joshy, of the ANU National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health.

Previous research on the subject of weight and life expectancy has produced mixed results with some studies suggesting overweight people live longer.

The ANU research examined the way data had been analysed in a range of studies and found factors such as the width of the BMI categories used and pre-existing illness accounted for many of the discrepancies in the findings.

Dr Joshy said