Americans, Italians and Brits can rejoice - health science has finally caught up to their waistlines. 

An analysis of 100 studies including three million people found that those whose B.M.I. ranked them as overweight had less risk of dying than people of normal weight. And while obese people had a greater mortality risk over all, those at the lowest obesity level (B.M.I. of 30 to 34.9) were not more likely to die than normal-weight people. 

 People not selling diet books or otherwise engaged in feel-good fallacies and scare journalism (like us) have said all along that weight and BMI are fake metrics - there are a lot of knobs to turn in good health and being a certain weight is vital if you have other risk factors.

But this made it into the New York Times so a whole lot of people who otherwise would not listen to reason finally might.  It also tells us why we suddenly seem to have so many 'overweight' people - BMI is just plain wrong and so many people were not overweight before it was magically created.

Obesity associated with increased risk of death but being overweight benefits mortality - Science Codex

Study Suggests Lower Death Risk for the Overweight By Pam Belluck, New York Times