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Previous studies have found that death rates increase both above and below a normal BMI score, and that people who are moderately overweight live longer than underweight or normal-weight people.
Other experts said that because the papers used in the study mostly started between 1975 and 1985, their conclusions were not as relevant today.
Astrup worried that rising obesity rates may reverse the steep drops in heart disease seen in the West.
"Obesity is the new dark horse for public health officials," he said. "People need to be aware of the risks they're taking when they gain weight."
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