It’s always being pounded into us that we have to pay attention to our diet, we have to eat healthy and watch our weight if we want to live a long life. But believe it or not there’s a new study that says just the opposite. Middle-aged people (aged 40 – 60) with a body mass index (BMI) in the category of slightly overweight had a higher chance of living longer than any other weight category.

Every time you go to doctor for your annual check-up they measure your height and weight and compare it to a chart that calculates obesity. The BMI is a standard throughout the health care industry of measuring health risk. Some people think those targeted weight standards are unrealistic and with this new study, maybe they are.

Carrying a little extra weight sometimes is a benefit, especially for those who get sick. That’s because that extra fat may carry just enough extra energy to get you thru. When you compare it to underweight people with the same illness – they’re four times more likely to die.

It doesn’t hold true for younger people. That’s because research continues to show carrying extra weight contributes to heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some kinds of cancer.