Why do big Aussie men live longer than skinny men?

February 02, 2017

Recent studies are saying that bigger men have a higher life expectancy than our smaller counterparts, suggesting that the ideal size to be - longevity-wise - is technically overweight. So what does this mean for us big blokes? Are we better off? And what should you do to take advantage of this potential longevity?

Do big men really live longer?

A 2013 study by the American National Center for Health Statistics found that Grade 1 obesity was not associated with higher mortality rate than what is considered a normal weight. It also found that being overweight was associated with a significantly lower mortality rate. A 2016 study by researchers at the Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark discovered that the weight associated with the highest life expectancy has increased over the past decade.

People considered to be overweight have higher life expectancy than those in the normal weight category.People considered to be overweight have higher life expectancy than those in the normal weight category.

BMI doesn't tell the whole story

What this suggests is that the Body Mass Index (BMI), the system used to assess whether someone is over or underweight, isn't accurate in predicting health or longevity. Dr Borge Nordestgaard, chief physician in clinical biochemistry at Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, told the Telegraph that the definitions of healthy and unhealthy weights, although they might have been accurate in the past, aren't right for today's population.

"These results would indicate a need to revise the categories presently used to define overweight, which are based on data from before the 1990's," he said. "Maybe moderate overweight people need not be quite as worried about their weight as before."

Even a small amount of exercise can increase your life expectancy.

How can you increase your life expectancy?

So if losing weight won't help you live longer, what does? The answer seems to be that longevity is less about how big you are, and more about how active you are. A 2015 article from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition argues that inactivity is a bigger health concern than being big, and that even a small amount of exercise can increase your life expectancy. So big guys who want to be healthier should get out and do something physical, rather than worrying about losing weight.

Professor Timothy Olds, professor of health sciences at the University of South Australia, gives this advice to news.com.au:

"Just get out for your daily walk, eat lots of fruit and veggies, and chill: you may be better off fat."

If you're a big guy who wants clothes that will last as long as you do, check out Big Men's Clothing. Our quality plus-size menswear range includes all the exercise gear you might need to get out and get active, not to mention some stylish clothes for a big night out afterwards. Live long and prosper, folks.

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