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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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com