Weighing a few extra pounds: Formula for longer life?

(WEAU) - In our Health Beat, a new study shows that if you carry a few extra pounds, you may give you a few extra years to live.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, being overweight by up to 30 pounds can lead to longer life.

As a society, we're surrounded by numbers daily. But, the number that's always on our minds is our weight.

"I think you can be healthy at any weight. Either you're underweight or your right at your normal BMI or your overweight. I think you can be active and you can be fit," said Erin Venne, Marshfield Clinic RN/ Clinical Staff Educator.

Erin Venne with Marshfield Clinic says your BMI determines if you're above, below or at a normal weight.

"It's a mathematical formula that takes into account your body weight as well as your height as well as your body structure," said Venne.

Luckily I'm within the BMI guidelines of about 18-25. But if you're not there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. The study shows if you’re extremely obese you have a 29% percent increased chance of death. If you are mildly obese, you have an 18% increased risk. But if you're overweight you lower your risk as much as 6%.

"If someone is a normal weight maybe they're not getting their normal preventative screenings because they think in their mind that they're healthy," said Venne.

Erin says although she agrees with the study, people should still be aware of their body weight as well as visit their doctor for their annual checkup.

Of course if you do have a few extra pounds, it may be because muscle weighs more than fat or because of your family history.

"Part of it is genetics; part of it is the way we evolved in our country especially. I think it’s our dietary choices and our sedentary lifestyle,” said Venne.