The CNN article is a mess, but a New York Times
piece about the same study is more focussed:
The title is more accurate, and the facts are presented in a clearer and more unambiguous way:
For the first time linking causes of death to specific weights, they report that "over"weight people have a lower death rate because they are much less likely to die from a grab bag of diseases that includes Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, infections and lung disease. And that lower risk is not counteracted by increased risks of dying from any other disease, including cancer, diabetes or heart disease.
...there were more than 100,000 fewer deaths among the "over"weight in 2004, the most recent year for which data were available, than would have been expected if those people had been of normal weight.
Some who studied the relation between weight and health said the nation might want to reconsider what are ideal weights.
“If we use the criteria of mortality, then the term ‘overweight’ is a misnomer,” said Daniel McGee, professor of statistics at Florida State University...
The new study began several years ago when the investigators used national data to look at death risks according to body weight. They concluded that, compared with people of normal weight, the "over"weight had a decreased death risk...
Dr. Gail...had some advice, which, he said, is his personal opinion as a physician and researcher: “If you are in the pink and feeling well...then I am not sure there is any urgency to change your weight.”
Its a welcome admission from researchers that full-figured women do NOT need to lose weight, but that rather, having extra weight is healthy.
But what I find especially significant is the statement that "the term overweight is a misnomer."
These findings prove this to be the case. They show that, for women, having extra weight is in fact the truly
"normal" and "ideal" weight, while being thinner is in fact underweight - and an increased mortality risk.
Proof, once and for all, that for women, being full-figured leads to a healthier you (and a more beautiful you as well - not to mention a more pleasurable life).