London, Jan 2 (IANS) People who are overweight but not necessarily obese may actually outlive their thinner counterparts, a study has said.
Men and women who are slightly plump live longer than those of a normal weight, the Daily Mail cited the study of around three million people, that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
People usually think that being of normal weight is a barometer of good health.
Obesity experts have warned that the research should not be taken to mean that there were no negative health effects in case one was overweight.
For the latest study, US government researchers read 91 previous research papers on the topic from around the world, involving millions of men and women.
They looked at the subjects' body mass index (BMI) at the start of the research and how likely they were to have died by the end of it.
People are classified as being of normal weight if they have a BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9 and overweight if their reading is between 25 and 29.9.
A BMI higher than this is classified as obese and the bigger the reading the greater the risks to health are thought to be.
The results showed that those judged to be overweight were six percent less likely to have died by the end of the study period than those of normal weight.
Having a BMI of between 30 and 34.9 -- and so being slightly obese -- also did not seem to harm health.
However, those whose BMI was greater than this were 29 percent less likely to live to see the end of the study than those whose weight was classed as normal.