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Extra Pounds May Add Extra Years To Your Life

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Andrea Lucia
Andrea joined CBS 11 and TXA 21 in September 2010, one day befo...
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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Lose weight, live longer, right?

That’s what common sense seems to dictate.

A recent report, though, from the National Center for Health Statistics found it’s not always true.

It discovered, while people who are ‘obese’ have a much higher mortality rate than people of normal weight, people who are simply ‘overweight’ actually tend to live a little longer.

It’s been dubbed the “obesity paradox.”

“These are the data. I mean, we didn’t make this up,” said Katherine Flegal, the report’s lead author.

She and her colleagues reviewed a hundred different studies, looking at a pool of about three million people.

Those considered ‘overweight,’ with a Body Mass Index of 25 to 30, were slightly less likely to die within a given time period than those considered ‘of normal weight,’ with a BMI between 18.5 – 25.

“This kind of research has been distorted a little bit, because people are uncomfortable. There are so many studies that found exactly what our studies find,” said Flegal.

Flegal, though, is careful not to confuse a longer life with a healthier one.

At InCinR8 Fitness Studio in Uptown Dallas, Danny Connolly concerns himself with getting people in shape.

“I’m more about fitness and how do you feel,” he said.

The NCHS report, though doesn’t come as a complete surprise to him.

“I feel like when you indulge, your body’s a little more at peace,” he said. “Being at peace and being happy probably helps you live longer. The five to ten pounds probably doesn’t make that big a difference.”

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