A few extra pounds can actually be good for you, the Globe and Mail reports. A recent long-term study of Canadian health records shows that people classified as overweight—with a Body Mass Index of 25 to 30—are 17% less likely to die than those with “normal” BMI, between 18.5 and 25. The study also found that extremely thin and obese people have a far higher mortality rate.
The researchers called for health officials to heed their results, but were quick to qualify them. Overweight people “live longer but how well do they live?” asked one study author. “Our results do not imply that if you're in the normal weight range, you should go out and try to gain weight.” The researchers said a little extra fat may help people fight off illness and keep sturdy in old age.