A new report in Circulation, taking away with one hand while giving back with the other, shows conclusively that being even a little overweight still increases your likelihood of heart disease. The good news is that it also shows that even a little exercise decreases your risk.
The study, which followed over 21,000 people for a twenty year period, is about as good as it gets statistically. It specifically found that a body mass index of between 25 and 30 (overweight but not obese) resukted in a 49% higher risk of heart disease. A BMI of over 30 had a 180% higher risk. On the good side, exercising a moderate amount as little as one to three times a month reduced risk by 18%. Exercising five times a week or more raised that to 36%.
A couple of important points. This study looked at men only. And those men? Doctors. No comment.