All the participants had their weight and height measured and filled in a physical activity questionnaire. It is now possible to look with some precision at mortality of people with different degrees of fatness and with different levels of activity.
Two findings are of particular importance
1. No matter how fat you are, it helps to be active
Results on this are shown in the diagram below
2. Being active is twice as important as being the "correct" body weight
The data is plotted in the second figure, shown below.
The EPIC data does not tell us anything particularly new. We have known from smaller studies for a long time that physical activity is good for longevity (and for quality of life during those longer years). We also knew that body weight was less important, indeed some studies showed almost no effect of body weight on mortality. The good thing about this study is that (a) it is huge and used a real cross-section of European populations and (b) the key variables were examined together in a well-designed study.
And this study has been widely and accurately reported, emphasising the major importance of physical activity for public health. And we know, the best way to get people more active is active travel. And the most time efficient mode of active travel is cycling.