If you’re 10-15 pounds over your younger ideal, here’s the good news.
Compared to your skinny girlfriend:
- You’re no more likely to die of cancer or cardiovascular disease.
- In your 70’s, you have a reduced risk of dying over a 10-year period. (Both obese and underweight people have a higher risk than you do.)
- You may be helping to strengthen your bones and avoid osteoporosis.
- Your face may look younger. Remember the old saying that after 40, you have to choose between your face or your body. Turns out it’s mostly true. Fat gives a little more structure to the face. It’s a natural volume filler.
One of the secrets to these new findings is that the slightly overweight fat is surface fat, often carried on the hips, thighs and bottom. It’s less dangerous than the internal fat attaching to your organs like the belly that occurs in obesity.
According to Leon Flicker, Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the Western Australian Centre for Health & Ageing, “These results lend further credence to claims that the BMI thresholds for overweight and obese are overly restrictive for older people. Overweight older people are not at greater mortality risk than those who are normal weight. Being sedentary was associated with a greater risk of mortality in women than in men.” For more information, click here to read more of the study by the Western Australian Centre for Health & Ageing.
“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.
However, it would be very misguided and dangerous to over indulge in high cholestrol and high calorie foods. It would also be dangerous to let weight gain creep farther upward. Keep in mind that weight is proportional to your size. Ten pounds on someone 5′ 2″ is quite different than ten pounds on someone 5′ 11″.
Check your BMI (Body Mass Index)
This chart from eMedTV.com gives you your BMI for your height and weight.
Normal BMI is 18.5 –24.9. Add 10 –15 pounds to that to see somewhat overweight, and a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. To use the BMI chart, find the appropriate height (in inches) in the left-hand column labeled Height. Move across to a given weight (in pounds). The number at the top of the column is the BMI at that height and weight. Pounds have been rounded off.
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