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The Slightly Overweight May Live Longer

2 min read

By Emily Lockhart

A study reveals welcome news after a holiday filled with family feasting, grandma’s baking, and late night snacking…a few extra pounds might actually help you live longer!

A U.S. study from the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests if you’re just slightly overweight you may want to ignore those New Year’s resolutions because those extra few pounds you’re packing might actually be lowering your risk of premature death.

During the study, medical researchers from the National Center of Health Statistics examined 100 previous studies on weight and mortality, which included 270,000 deaths from countries such as China, Australia, the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Israel. The findings showed that the somewhat overweight participants (with Body Mass Indexes between 25 and 30) had a 6-percent lower risk of premature death compared to their average (or normal) weighted counterparts (with BMIs between 18.5 and 24.9).

The study also revealed that a BMI of between 25 and 30 was actually the ideal if you wanted to live a long life, any more than a few extra pounds (or a BMI between 30 and 35) a few too little body weight (BMIs ranging from 18.5 and 24.9) or those considered “grossly obese” (a BMI higher than 35) showed a higher incidence of premature death, with the obese BMIs risking a 29-percent higher risk of premature death.

“[Even though] there’s a correlation between body mass index and body fat… it’s a weak correlation,” says Dr. Stephen Heymsfield, the co-author of an editorial that accompanied the study and executive director of Pennington Biomedical Research Centre in Baton Rouge in Louisiana. “…there are people who are overweight who aren’t too fat… [and there] are people who are normal weight who [carry more body] fat, so it’s an imprecise measure.”

Dr. Heymsfield also warns that overweight people should not consider the study and excuse for weight gain since the study “…doesn’t say anything about whether heart disease or diabetes is increased”.

Source: CTV News

Emily Lockhart


Emily Lockhart is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. She believes that being healthy is a lifestyle choice, not a punishment or temporary fix to attain a desired fitness or body image goal. Anna helps her clients take responsibility for their own health and wellness through her classes and articles on ActiveBeat.

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