A Little Extra Fat Might Help You Live Longer

by | January 3, 2013 at 1:26 PM | Health

(iStockphoto)

A new study found that folks with a slightly higher BMI than normal had lower mortality rates than those with a ‘healthy’ BMI.

By Jessica Chou, TheDailyMeal.com Editor

Well don’t make those New Year’s resolutions just yet; a new study found that overweight people had less risk of dying than people with a normal BMI.

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The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that “overweight” people might have a longer lifespan. Looking over 100 studies of 3 million adults, researchers found that while obese people had the greatest mortality risk, those at the lowest BMI classified as overweight (BMI of 25<30) had the lowest mortality risk. Those at the obesity level of BMI 30 to 34.9 had the same mortality risk as normal-weight people.

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But this doesn’t mean you can just binge-eat fries to start off the new year in the name of health (although we are tempted). Dr. George Blackburn, of Harvard Medical School, wrote that the BMI scale might not be the best indicator of health. Instead, doctors should also look at blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar.

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Furthermore, different types of fat have different health consequences and benefits. “Fat per se is not as bad as we thought,” Dr. Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, told The New York Times. “What is bad is a type of fat that is inside your belly. Non-belly fat, underneath your skin in your thigh and your butt area — these are not necessarily bad.” Not to mention that sometimes, more fat is often associated with more muscle. So maybe your resolution shouldn’t involve losing pounds, but just going to the gym more.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.