Sep 10, 2009


Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2009 9:06 AM
Subject: News Release from Dietitians of Canada

For immediate release
September 9, 2009

Does extra weight add extra years to your life?

Toronto, ON - Recently, some researchers have suggested that individuals that are overweight live longer. But what is the real key to longevity? Dietitians of Canada (DC) has looked at the evidence and concludes that all individuals, regardless of their weight, can benefit from healthy eating and regular physical activity. Moreover, excess weight is clearly linked to serious health consequences. Prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity remains a priority.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is the method of classification recommended for use by Health Canada. It is a standardized index of weight-for-height describing health risks. Evidence suggests individuals classified as underweight (BMI lower than 18.5), overweight (BMI between 25 and 29.9) and obese (BMI 30 and over) are at increased risk of morbidity (illness) and mortality (death). However, some studies have shown that overweight individuals had a significantly decreased risk of mortality compared to normal-weight individuals.

"The association between BMI and mortality is complex," says Kate Storey, registered dietitian and author of the review document Weighing the issue: What is the real key to longevity? "Other measures such as body composition and waist circumference, in combination with BMI, may better predict and reflect the complex relationship between overweight/obesity and mortality."

"One must keep longevity within the context of health, added Storey. A healthy weight does not guarantee a longer life, nor does longevity guarantee health. While longevity is a multifaceted issue, lifestyle behaviours, such as eating well and regular physical activity, are definite steps in the right direction to a long and healthy life."

Dietitians of Canada represents almost 6,000 dietitians across Canada and is committed to promoting the health and well-being of consumers through food and nutrition. For trusted information on nutrition and healthy eating and to register to receive DC's regular nutrition updates, visit Dietitians of Canada's award-winning website at

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