Experts say being moderately overweight may be good for you

It is an ever-growing number, 66% of adults in the United States are overweight or obese.

But there is finally some good news for those carrying around a few extra pounds.

New research shows being moderately overweight may actually be good for you.

Tracey Posess is a mother of five and a frequent gym-goer.

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

She is 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," explains Tracey.

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," says Dr. Joshua Brown.

But some say this research is not 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," explains Doctor Patrick O'Neil.

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," says Doctor Brown.

Tracey says the news is refreshing, "If they are showing it, then I'm thrilled to hear it, you know. I feel comfortable."

Experts say overweight people most likely to be healthy are those who exercise regularly, and have normal health checks -- including blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

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