New research says a few extra pounds may be good for you.
If your pants have been feeling a little snug lately, don't start dieting yet.
New research shows that a little extra weight could actually be good for you.
"There are certainly a number of diseases where people seem to do a little better with a little bit higher BMI above the quote normal," says cardiologist Dr. Bob Shore.
Two recent studies by the Centers for Disease Control found that people with a Body Mass Index in the overweight range are no more likely to die from cancer or cardiovascular disease.
Another study out of Australia found that overweight people in their 70s were less likely to die in the next ten years of their life than those who are normal weight.
Those researchers say it's an indication that a little extra weight can actually fortify people against illness and injury as they age.
"Being a little overweight may increase the incidence of some diseases, but if you have those diseases the outcome seems to be a little bit better in heart failure and end-stage renal disease and other medical conditions," Dr. Shore says.
Dr. Shore says while these studies are interesting, there are dozens of risk factors besides weight that determine how healthy a person is.
A lot of these studies really depend on a person's individual risk factors, so if you're a couple of pounds overweight, but you exercise and eat right, then you're in a better place than a smoker who's normal weight.