Pounds of Protection?

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Story Updated: Jan 3, 2013

A new study just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests being slightly overweight may have at least one benefit.

Researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics analyzed nearly 100 studies...including about 3-million people around the world. Their goal: to compare mortality rates for normal weight adults versus those who are overweight and obese.

Being overweight means having a body mass index...or BMI... of 25 to less than 30.

Crunching the numbers, researchers found that people carrying a little extra weight had a 5 to 6 percent lower risk of death when compared to normal weight individuals.

Sometimes that surprises people but they really should not be too surprised, cause in our categories of these 97 studies 80 percent of them showed that there was lower mortality in overweight than normal weight people.

However, once the scales tipped into grades 2 or 3 Ð with BMI's 35 and over...the risk of death rose to 29-percent above the normal weight group.

So will a little extra weight protect you? The team theorizes those extra fat cells may come in handy when we are battling a chronic or acute illness.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading health news that matters to you.

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The UHS Sports Medicine Program specializes in diagnosing and treating orthopedic and sports-related injuries, providing care on an outpatient basis. The program combines the expertise of certified athletic trainers and physical therapists, who work closely with sports medicine physicians on our medical staff to help patients resume their physical activities as soon as possible.