Harvard-Led Study Finds No Merit In ‘Obesity Paradox’

BOSTON (CBS) — Being overweight or obese does not lead to a longer life when it comes to patients with type 2 diabetes.

The large study led by Harvard School of Public Health researchers dispels earlier studies that suggested overweight people with diabetes had lower mortality rates compared to patients of normal weight.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Diane Stern spoke with lead author Dierdre Tobias

The study appears in the January 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

“These data dispel the notion that being overweight or obese confers survival advantage among diabetic patients,” said Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at HSPH and senior author of the study. “Clearly, weight management is an important therapeutic strategy for overweight or obese individuals with type 2 diabetes.”

The researchers analyzed data from 8,970 women and 2,457 men with type 2 diabetes and took at look at patient’s body-mass index before the diagnosis. Researchers tracked the patients for 36 and 26 years. Of those, 3,083 deaths were recorded.

The lowest risk of death was recorded among people of normal weight. Lower mortality was not observed among overweight or obese participants, that is, the findings showed no benefit from being overweight or obese.

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