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Obesity: Mortality Risk Increases Linearly as BMI Increases, Contradicting Norms

A social demographer investigated sources of bias in the use of body mass index (BMI) to determine risk of mortality. He found that factoring in weight history and body shape influences the relationship between BMI and mortality. These biases from body shape and weight history may account for the “obesity paradox” where previous research has shown a survival benefit from overweight and lower levels of obesity in particular groups. Taking these biases into account, he noted that a higher BMI correlates linearly with higher mortality rates, showing that the risk of being overweight and having obesity has previously been underestimated. He further found that indicators of body fat and shape varied across BMI samples and were linked to indicators of poor health, cardiometabolic disease, and mortality risk. Read more from MedicalNewsToday here.