For Dr. Reubin Andres, the new weight charts that accompany the revised "Dietary Guidelines for Americans" are a kind of vindication.
"Victory at last!" said Dr. Andres, clinical director of the National Institute of Aging. For years, Dr. Andres has been saying that while obesity is bad at any age, death rates are lower for older people who are "over" standard-chart weights.
The new "acceptable" weight chart says the same thing: For people past 35, the upper limits are extended by about 10 pounds, and the guidelines themselves warn against excessive leanness.