According to the new calculation, obesity ranks No. 7 instead of No. 2 among the nation’s leading preventable causes of death.
The new analysis found that obesity — being extremely overweight — is indisputably lethal. But like several recent smaller studies, it found that people who are modestly overweight have a lower risk of death than those of normal weight.
Biostatistician Mary Grace Kovar, a consultant for the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center in Washington, said "normal" may be set too low for today’s population. Also, Americans classified as overweight are eating better, exercising more and managing their blood pressure better than they used to, she said.
The study — an analysis of mortality rates and body-mass index, or BMI — was published in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association.
So, now let’s all hold our collective breaths waiting for insurance companies to rewrite their body mass standards, and thereby lose the gobs of money they charge ‘overweight’ people.