In a society that is absolutely consumed with image and it's collective waistline (me included) this comes as a complete shock, because how in the world can skinniness be anywhere near as harmful much less more harmful than being overweight? Well, recent findings are saying that this is the truth but is this similar to when they tell us that eggs are healthy one week and then the next week they're not? Well, either way here's the skinny (...oops, too soon?)

Here's what the experts have to say:

"There is currently a widespread belief that any degree of overweight or obesity increases the risk of death, however our findings suggest this may not be the case," says health prof Anthony Jerant, lead author of the study. "In the six-year timeframe of our evaluation, we found that only severe obesity was associated with an increased risk of death."

Now of course they're not suggesting to go out and start binging at Taco Bell and picket out front of Planet Fitness in all your glory, but looks like severely obese is the classification to avoid. Furthermore...

Jerant and his colleagues, surveying nearly 51,000 Americans of all ages over a period of six years, found that "underweight" BMI was far and away the most dangerous category to be placed in. During the study period, the "underweight" subjects showed a risk of death no less than twice as high as the "normal" participants.

Apparently, the more overweight you are, the more prone you are to diseases such as diabetes and hypertension but if neither of those diseases is present in your body then you're really not that much more at risk of dying early than someone who is at a normal weight for their height, as that risk is only associated with those diseases, not the weight itself.

Now bear in mind that being obese carries many more risks than those two diseases and the study that was done wasn't intended to excuse unhealthy behavior but it is interesting to note that being too skinny is considered much worse under that context. Of course unhealthiness is unhealthiness no matter how far on either end of the scale you fall, but maybe if we just shoot for the middle (rather than our middles) we should be in the clear. Here's the study for those of you who would like to go deeper, but it's interesting food for thought, don't you think?