Having low body fat does not necessarily lessen the risk of some conditions which may leave the individual requiring home care such as heart disease and diabetes, according to new research.
The international study found that it is not just overweight individuals who are predisposed to these metabolic diseases.
In the investigation, published in journal Nature Genetics, scientists studied a gene named IRS1, finding strong evidence that it could be linked to less body fat but unhealthy levels of cholesterol and blood glucose.
They found that the gene only lowers levels of "subcutaneous" fat under the skin but not the "visceral fat" surrounding organs.
Dr Douglas P Kiel, of the Institute for Aging Research, explained: "Some collections of fat, such as the kind located just under the skin, may actually be less harmful than the type located in the abdominal cavity, which may increase the risk of developing metabolic disease."
Meanwhile, research to be presented at The Endocrine Society's 93rd Annual Meeting in Boston, found that obesity increases the risk of death in breast cancer patients.
Find the nearest Barchester care home