Overweight or Normal weight: Here we go again!

The last decade has seen an opposite trend to advice people how much body weight they need to have for longer survival. This includes reports that suggest that few extra kilos than normal body mass index (BMI) is helpful. In contrary, long standing evidence has shown that having a normal BMI is more favorable for cardiovascular health.

In a previous blog piece, we have briefly discuss the evidence associated with being over-weight, and how these extra few kilos maybe beneficial for overall health.

Active senior jogging

However, in a recent investigation that involves 1.9 million participants, overweight and obesity were associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. In this pooled analysis of 97 prospective cohorts, each 5 kg/m2 higher BMI was associated with 27% increase risk of death from coronary heart disease, and 18% increased risk of death from stroke. The positive association of BMI and increased risk of death was mediated by other metabolic risk factors (blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose). However, ever after adjustment of these three metabolic factors, the risk of death from coronary heart disease was 15% higher, and that of stroke was 4% higher. In line with this, being overweight was associated with 26% increased risk of coronary heart disease, and 13% increased risk of stroke death when compared with normal weight. While obesity had a larger association: 69% increased risk of death from coronary heart disease, and 47% increased risk of stroke. The jury is out there to decide whether to maintain an optimum body weight or few extra kilos of body weight are desirable.

Meanwhile, overwhelming evidence has suggested that maintaining a normal weight (BMI, 18 to 25 kg/m2) is much favorable for a better cardiovascular risk profile, and a longer survival. On the other hand, being physically active not only helps to keep your body weight in control, but also beneficial for a lot other things, including lowering of blood pressure, total cholesterol and a better cardiac health. So far, a balanced lifestyle that includes smoking cessation, physical activity, and healthy diet among others would be advisable to people in all ages and in both sexes.

Javaid Neuman, Researcher CERG 

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