Carrying a Few Extra Pounds May Lower Life Span
In recent years, there has been an ongoing debate among medical professionals about whether carrying a couple extra pounds—enough to be considered "somewhat" overweight, but not obese—is good or bad for health. While some past research showed that a little extra weight may increase life expectancy, a new study suggests that being even slightly overweight has the opposite effect.
According to this recent study, people with a history of being overweight have a 6 percent higher risk of dying from any cause than those who maintain a normal weight throughout their lives. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximate 38 percent of people in the United States over the age of 20 are overweight. Another 30 percent are obese—and at increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and early death.
Researchers analyzed data on more than 225,000 adults over 50 from three studies lasting between eight and 20 years to determine if being overweight affects life span. The results contradicted a 2013 study showing that being overweight could lead to a longer life.
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