Experts: Overweight people live longer

Tracey Posess is a mother of five and frequently goes to the gym.

"I'm here as often as I can be. At least four to five days a week," said Posess.

She's toned and muscular, but at 163 pounds and with a body mass index of 26.5, Tracey is considered overweight.

"I feel like I don't think I'm overweight," said Posess.

A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal weight. Twenty-five to 29.9 is overweight.

A BMI greater than 30 is obese. Though no one wants to be labeled overweight, new research shows overweight people live longer than underweight, normal weight and obese people.

The study found overweight people have a lower risk of death overall and from infections, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and lung disease.

"The news, I think, hopefully will allow people to breathe the sigh of relief who may be in the overweight range," said clinical psychologist, Joshua Brown.

But some say this research isn't enough to re-define overweight as healthy.

"It only speaks to the likelihood of dying from particular causes. It does not address health status. It does not address quality of life," said Patrick O'Neil Ph.D., Weight Management Center director.

Another recent study showed about half of overweight people have normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

"It does reiterate to folks who may be in the overweight range that they are not necessarily unhealthy," said Brown.

Tracey says the news is refreshing.

"If they are showing it, then I'm thrilled to hear it, you know. I feel comfortable," said Posess.

Comforting news, but experts say not a greenlight to go overboard.

Experts say the slightly overweight people most likely to be healthy are those who are regular exercisers and have normal blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.



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