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Mol Metab. 2013 Mar 25;2(2):65-8. doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2013.03.005.

Mortality rate and overweight: Overblown or underestimated? A commentary on a recent meta-analysis of the associations of BMI and mortality.

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  • 1Division of Biostatistics, Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Thomas Jefferson University, 1015 Chestnut St., Suite M100, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.


In this review, we discuss strengths and limitations of a recent rigorous systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature on associations of all-cause mortality with overweight and obesity. A perspective on its meaning and potential implications are provided. To move this field forward, we suggest modeling BMI as a continuous variable, switching to modeling longevity instead of mortality, and generating large publicly available datasets in broad and diverse populations for discerning the extent to which the BMI-mortality relationship differs between groups and over time. Randomized studies of obesity-related interventions that provide assessments of their actual effects on lifespan or mortality would have great value for helping to establish valid clinical and public health recommendations around weight loss and mortality.


BMI; Mortality; Obesity; Overweight

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