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Underweight and Extremely Obese Die Earlier Than People of Normal Weight, Study Finds
Date:6/23/2009

A little extra weight may protect people from early death

PORTLAND, Ore., June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Underweight people and those who are extremely obese die earlier than people of normal weight - but those who are overweight actually live longer than people of normal weight. Those are the findings of a new study published online in Obesity by researchers at Statistics Canada, Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Portland State University, Oregon Health & Science University, and McGill University.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090623/SF36965-a)

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090623/SF36965-b)

"It's not surprising that extreme underweight and extreme obesity increase the risk of dying, but it is surprising that carrying a little extra weight may give people a longevity advantage," said David Feeny, PhD, coauthor of the study and senior investigator for the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research.

"It may be that a few extra pounds actually protect older people as their health declines, but that doesn't mean that people in the normal weight range should try to put on a few pounds," said Mark Kaplan, DrPH, coauthor and Professor of Community Health at Portland State University. "Our study only looked at mortality, not at quality of life, and there are many negative health consequences associated with obesity, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes."

"Good health is more than a BMI or a number on a scale. We know that people who choose a healthy lifestyle enjoy better health: good food choices, being physically active everyday, managing stress, and keeping blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar
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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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