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Could Adding a Few Pounds Help You Live Longer?

Pink Sherbet Photography / flickr

Maybe fat isn’t always the enemy. Carrying a few extra pounds of the stuff may actually help you live a longer life, according to new research out of Portland State University.

In the 12-year study of more than 11,000 Canadian adults, slightly overweight people lived longer than normal-weight people, while those who were either extremely obese or underweight died at an earlier age than folks without weight issues.

This doesn’t mean you should tackle a box of Twinkies. “It may be that a few extra pounds actually protects older people as their health declines,” said study co-author Mark Kaplan, a professor of community health at Portland State University. “Our study only looked at mortality, not at quality of life.”

So make no mistake: Overweight individuals should still be concerned about high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Shedding a layer will also improve your energy, confidence, and overall quality of life.

To start slimming down, visit our weight loss channel. And try to focus on changing nutrition and exercise habits without over-stressing about the scale. In another study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, adults with the most varied and nutritious diets reduced their risk of death by up to 25 percent—regardless of their weight. The study included more than 350,000 men and women, and the researchers defined a healthy diet as including fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains, lean meat and fat.

About The Author

David Schipper – David began writing for CorePerformance.com in 2008, after spending six years at Men's Health magazine digging up the newest scientific research in health, weight loss, nutrition, muscle and cardiovascular fitness.

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Tags: Longevity, Health, Stress, Weight Loss