Insulin jabs are pictured on a production line in Novo Nordisk's plant in Kalundborg November 4, 2013. Picture taken November 4, 2013. Novo Nordisk's Kalundborg factory, 100 km west of Copenhagen, makes half the planet's insulin for diabetics, putting it on a list of global sites the United States sees as vital to its interests, according to a WikiLeaks cable in 2010. Soaring diabetes rates, driven by increasing obesity, have fuelled profits at the Danish company for two decades. But now the company wants to tackle obesity head on by launching a treatment specifically to help patients lose weight. To match Insight OBESITY-BUSINESS/ Reuters

Even the medical community is puzzled by the obesity paradox. While health officials are encouraging people with weight problems to lose some because of the health risks posed by being overweight or obese, new studies show that in the case of people with diabetes, overweight diabetics outlive their slimmer counterparts.

A new study by Dr Stephen Atkin and Pierluigi Costanzo of the University of Hull in Britain had more than 10,500 type 2 diabetics as respondents. The researchers followed them for an average of 11 years, reports Standard Daily.

The result of the study, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, found that underweight diabetics have the highest risk of dying at almost thrice the mortality rates of diabetics with normal weights. But the paradox was that overweight diabetics are 13 percent less likely to die compared to those who have normal weight or obese.

The study explains that being overweight protects the diabetic against frailty and osteoporosis which are fatal ailments. Constanzo said, "It's likely those diabetic patients with normal weight have a more aggressive form of type-2 diabetes compared to those who are overweight and obese.”

But its results, Standard Daily points out, is in conflict with a 2014 study in the New England Journal of Medicine that extra weight don’t provide people a survival advantage. Costanzo said one reason behind the difference in findings is that the 2014 study used the upper end of normal weight for comparison.

If the 2014 study used the full range of 18.5 to 24.9, the result would likely be similar to their research, Costanzo said. Their study followed the standard definition of overweight as having a body mass index of 25 to 29.9.

Using that definition, a person who is 5 feet and 4 inches tall would be considered overweight if he weighs between 146 and 174 pounds, while if he weighs between 108 and 145 pounds, the person has normal weight.

Prior to the two studies, there were 16 other researches with different results. In some studies, overweight diabetics have lower mortality, while in other studies, it was the opposite. But studies also confirm that obese people have higher risk of acquiring cardiovascular ailments.

Mercedes Carnethon, another study author and associate professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University, adds that gaining excess weight is not a health strategy. She believes that slimmer people who acquired diabetes are already vulnerable to worse health.

“They may have developed diabetes for reasons unrelated to obesity,” Carnethon said, quotes Time. She adds that the findings is a warning that it is not only obese or overweight people who could acquire diabetes, and doctors must look for signs of the ailment even among their thinner patients, especially the elderly.

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