Want to Live Longer? Put on (Muscle) Weight

A new Japanese study found that slightly chubby people live up to seven years longer than their skinny counterparts

Need more motivation to hit the gym and shed that beanpole bod? Now you can add longevity to your list.

A recent study done by Tohoku University revealed that people who are a little overweight at age 40 live six to seven years longer than very thin people.

While the media has been constantly reminding us about the risk of overweight and obesity, here is one refreshing news that warns us that being too skinny can be even more dangerous.

The large-scale study involving some 50,000 residents of Miyagi Prefecture age 40 or more shows that thin people have the shortest life expectancy, with an average lifespan that was shorter by about five years than that of obese people.

The main reasons for the shorter lifespans of skinny people were believed to include their increased risk to diseases such as pneumonia and the fragility of their blood vessels.

In this 12-year study, researchers looked at the past physiques of the participants and analyzed the ages they lived to from the age of 40 and grouped them according to their body mass index (BMI).

In case you take this as a cue for binge eating, the researchers do not recommend that people eat as much as they want.

"People won't extend their lives by straining to put weight on", said Associate Professor Shinichi Kuriyama, leader of the study.

The safest and best way to gain weight is still to pack on some lean muscles and keep your fat percentage low. Not only will the extra muscles help you to burn off excess fat, they will also make you look good, with or without clothes.

In case you are not aware, muscular people with low lard level tend to have falsely high BMI readings which put them under the overweight or obese category. Because BMI is purely numerical and thus can't tell the difference between the weight of muscles and the weight of fat. For all we know, there might just be some muscular subjects who have been wrongly classified as obese or overweight in the Japanese study.


Christina Crowe said...

Wow, this news is both alarming and encouraging.

I've always had a high metabolism, so I've always been slightly on the skinny side. Though I used to be quite active, lately I have been just sitting at my computer 90% of the time blogging, playing mmorpgs, and so on.

Being a major procrastinator as I am, this study actually helped me get back on my feet and start doing those weight lifts I used to love so much, as well as the occasional run on the treadmill. ;)

Thanks for the info!

MaxWater said...

Hey Christina,

Physical inactivity has been proven to be as dangerous as smoking and high blood cholesterol.

So I'm happy to hear that the info here has spurred you to get back to the gym.

Have fun working out!

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