Weight loss is a tricky thing. For some, it simply means feeling healthier, but others struggle with body shaming that literally makes them sick. It can be a lifelong struggle to find a healthy level of body positivity, especially if you’re not a size two. If that sounds all too familiar, we’ve got some good news. A new study shows that the healthiest BMI is actually the one classified as “overweight.” Whaaat?

Checking weight

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen analyzed BMI and mortality rates of more than 100,000 people from the year 1970 to 2013, and what they found will surprise you on a few counts. Their research shows that the BMI associated with the lowest mortality rate is what we’ve always known to be the “overweight” category. Huh! We always knew that every body type is beautiful, but the fact that the average American woman is actually the most healthy is some extra body-positive backup.

The researchers also found that obesity isn’t actually as dangerous as fear-mongers might want you to think. And it’s certainly less dangerous than it used to be. The premature death rate in people categorized as “obese” isn’t any higher than those with “normal” BMIs. More fear-mongering dispelled.

“Overall, we should shift away from crude numbers as the sole measure of health but take into account dynamic measures like exercise tolerance, total body fat percentage and other biomarkers collectively to assess health,” Niket Sonpal, assistant clinical professor at Touro College of Medicine in New York City, told Shape. “BMI is just one component of the overall global health index.”

Overall, it’s a great move toward dispelling any myths that say overweight people are inherently unhealthy. Body positive science FTW!

Should we stop using BMI altogether? Tweet us your thoughts @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)