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Still staring at those five pounds taking residence around your waist? (Blast those holiday treats!) A new study suggests that you might not need to worry so much about those pesky extra pounds.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting on a study of nearly 3 million people worldwide by the Journal of the American Medical Association which suggests that people who are significantly obese — having a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher — had a shorter lifespan than those people with BMIs in the 18–24 range. What was a bit surprising, however, was the conclusion that those people with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 had lower death rates than those in the normal weight range. Additionally, mildly obese participants — with a BMI of 30 to 34.9 — had no greater risk of death than the normal weight participants.

These new findings definitely seem contradictory to all we’ve been told — that extra pounds puts us in danger for a number of serious and life-threatening conditions. Katherine M. Flegal, lead author of the study and epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, addressed the results, saying, “Our goal is really to summarize existing information and not conclude what people should do, other than follow good health practices, no matter what their weight.”

There is much speculation and few conclusions regarding why slightly overweight people had more positive results in this study, but some simply suggest that those few extra pounds may — quite simply — just make us healthier.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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