Longevity, mortality and body weight
The purpose of this study was to analyze the relation of total body weight to longevity and mortality. The MEDLINE database was searched for data that allow analysis of the relationship between absolute body weight and longevity or mortality. Additional data were used involving US veterans and baseball players. Trend lines of age at death versus body weight are presented. Findings show absolute body size is negatively related to longevity and life expectancy and positively to mortality. Trend lines show an average age at death versus weight slope of −0.4 years/kg. We also found that gender differences in longevity may be due to differences in body size. Animal research is consistent with the findings presented. Biological mechanisms are also presented to explain why increased body mass may reduce longevity. Life expectancy has increased dramatically through improved public health measures and medical care and reduced malnutrition. However, overnourishment and increased body size have promoted an epidemic of chronic disease and reduced our potential longevity. In addition, both excess lean body mass and fat mass may promote chronic disease.
In peaceful times, if one wants to live longer, maintaining the lowest body mass that is functional is conducive to longevity.