Mild obesity could actually improve the survival of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, a type of motor neurone disease.
Research conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital revealed that mildly obese ALS patients lived longer than those who were a normal weight, underweight or overweight.
The mildly clinically obese patients lived the longest of all the groups, with the overweight individuals surviving for the second longest period of time, according to the study published in journal Muscle and Nerves.
Senior author Anne-Marie Wills said: "While this finding needs further investigation, we hypothesize that it is due to increased energy reserves available to these patients.
"We don't know whether actively putting on weight would be helpful, but right now I'm telling my patients with ALS they can eat anything they want."
This comes after news that a research breakthrough published in PLoS Biology could lead to the development of drugs to treat ALS.
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