Could extra pounds help you live longer?

We hear it over and over again: being overweight or obese is bad for your health and can cut short

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We hear it over and over again: being overweight or obese is bad for your health and can cut short your lifespan. They’re even saying that kids born today in the United States will have a shorter lifespan than their parents due to weight-related health issues.

So I was surprised to read a CBC story about Australian research showing that a few extra pounds actually decreased the risk of death of a group of over-70 adults. (You can click through to watch a video reporting the story as well.)

It really brings home the perspective we always try to maintain at Best Health: focus on health, not size. One interesting facet of the study was that sedentary members of the study cohort did have higher mortality rates: for women, not exercising doubled the risk of death, no matter the BMI.

While this study doesn’t necessarily apply to adults of all ages, and certainly doesn’t imply that we shouldn’t be concerned about extra weight, it reiterates an excellent message: eat well, get some exercise and treat your body right, and your weight should settle to a healthy point (for you!) naturally.

Tell us: What do you think about this study? Are there any implications for you and your family?

For more on this topic, and on healthy living in general, check out these links:

4 reasons you don’t need to lose weight
7 simple ways to make healthier food choices
5 simple rules for your healthiest life

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