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Did You Know?: More Pounds, Longer Life

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Air date: July 5, 2009


Did You know?
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Wishard Health Services

Did you Know? is presented by Wishard Health Services, becoming Eskenazi Health in 2014.

According to a new Canadian study, being a bit overweight may add a few years to your life.

Researchers looked at more than 10,000 adults in Canada over a 12-year period. As expected, the study found that people who are significantly underweight or obese tend to die earlier than people of normal weight.

But surprisingly, it also found that people who are mildly overweight live longer, on average, than people whose weight is considered normal.

Why? The study doesn't say. And other studies have come to different conclusions. A 2008 European study found that carrying extra belly fat increases the risk or early death. And while it was once widely accepted that being obese shaves years off your life, that's no longer a certainty.

Doctors typically agree that exercise, healthy eating and maintaining normal body weight are generally important for good health. But when it comes to the relationship between health and how much you weight, there's still a lot we need to learn.

And now you know.

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