Can being a little bit overweight possibly be better for your health than maintaining "normal" weight?
Many doctors and obesity researchers would say no, but one persistent researcher has done a series of studies suggesting the opposite is true: A little extra weight might reduce the chance of dying.
Virginia Hughes tackles this complicated issue in a piece in Nature, where she writes that the epidemiology is complex, and the cofounding factors are difficult to eliminate. And the message to the public coming out of all of this is perhaps most complicated of all.
The researcher challenging the orthodoxy is Katherine Flegal of the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the CDC. Her latest study, published in January, found that "people deemed 'overweight' by international standards were 6% less likely to die than were those of...