Wisconsin News

Study: Extra weight could help extend life

LA CROSSE, Wis. - A new medical study on being overweight finds some bizarre results. It turns out having a few extra pounds may tack on a few additional years to a person's life.

The study in the Journal of the American Medical Association analyzed body mass index. Researchers say the excess fat may provide needed energy reserves to fight off certain illnesses and help in recovery from traumatic injuries.

A local dietitian says this shouldn't cause a dramatic change in a healthy person's lifestyle. "Clearly not saying those that are at a normal weight should gain weight to be healthy, it's not saying that, it's also kind of giving those that are in the overweight category that maybe they don't have to strive to get to a lower weight if it's not comfortable for them," said Gundersen Lutheran Registered Dietitian Andrea Erickson.

Erickson also says it's important to talk to your doctor about what is a healthy weight. The authors of the study say while being overweight may help, being obese is significantly more likely to lead to a premature death.

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