Being a bit heavier when you are older is a good thing

It's well known that having a high BMI when you are younger (a BMI above 25 that would put you in the ‘overweight’ range or above) puts you at risk of ill health and premature death. But recent research shows that once you are older – beyond your late 60s – those higher BMIs are actually better because they reduce your chance of dying prematurely.

What puts you at greatest risk now is being thin - with a BMI below 23. That's within the healthy weight range for younger adults and is probably even what many older people still think of as close to ideal.

"What this research and similar work proves is that being a bit more padded than you might have thought was ideal for that younger you, just might be your answer to living longer from now on."

A recent scientific paper by an Australian group soon to be published in the high profile American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. (Winter et al, "BMI and all cause mortality" AJCN 2014, in print) proved what others have found: that the ideal BMI for older people is likely to be higher than those for younger people- even in the range many might think of as being overweight.

If you’d like to read more have a look at the original paper here.

Formula for calculating BMI:

         your weight in kilograms

BMI =       ----------------------------            

             (your height in centimetres)2

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