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    A new report shows that being overweight is not as harmful as is commonly believed, and actually confers some surprising health benefits.

    Being five to ten pounds overweight could protect people from ailments ranging from tuberculosis to Alzheimer's disease, research indicates.

    Those carrying 15 to 25 extra pounds are better able to recover from adverse conditions such as emphysema, pneumonia, and various injuries and infections, states the report.

    Thirty to 40 pounds of flab could help fend off breast, kidney, pancreatic, prostate, and colon cancer. And an extra 50 pounds on the scale may improve eyesight, reverse baldness, cure the common cold, and reduce global warming.

    In general, the report concludes, overweight people are happier, more successful in business, smarter, and friendlier.

    "This just goes to show that conventional wisdom is wrong," said a spokeswoman for the study group. "Not to mention the hundreds of studies that came before!"

    The study was funded by a research grant from McDonald's, Burger King, Jack in the Box, Taco Bell, Domino's Pizza, Starbucks, Haagen Dazs, Sara Lee, and Krispy Kreme.
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