Carrying extra pounds can help you look younger

by Carolyn Owlett

Ruth Jones - News - Marie Claire

Wouldn't it be nice to have an excuse not to watch the scales this Christmas? We might just have found one...

Researchers have found that being overweight could disguise the appearance of wrinkles as you get older.

Don't reach for the biscuit tin just yet though, they also found that young people who were carrying extra weight tended to look older than their years.

Much of how we age is linked to genetics, although up to 40 per cent of the changes to the human face are caused by other factors.  

Smoking cigarettes and too much exposure to the sun's rays are primary culprits of skin ageing.

The findings could explain the youthful looks of celebrities such as Dawn French, 52, and Ruth Jones, 42, the Gavin and Stacey star.

The latest study looked at 65 pairs of twins to identify which lifestyle factors were ageing them.

The researchers found that being overweight tended to make the volunteers look older.

However, if the twins were in their mid-fifties or older, the effects of extra weight on their appearance seemed to be change, the researchers from the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, Cleveland, found.

From 54 onwards, those who were overweight started to look younger than their slim twin.

'Implying that although excess fat may increase the skin's susceptibility to damage, it may help mask the appearance of wrinkles in old age,' the authors write in the Archives of Dermatology journal.

So will you be digging in for that second helping of Christmas pudding this year?

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