Saturday, June 27, 2009

Gain Weight, Live Longer

THIS is an interesting study regarding weight and life-span. Don't be afraid to have that extra donut.

There's another blogger/nutritionist who's been saying the SAME THING for a while now.

Bottom line: Everything in moderation and don't sweat a couple pounds here or there.

1 comment:

Craig Lister said...

The blogger/nutritionist/nurse with a lot of research experience to whom you refer has actually now written a blog about the study you link to:

Even obesity paradoxes can’t “excuse” fatness

Perhaps not surprisingly, she points out the the media somehow managed to screw up reporting this study as well! The following is directly from her blog:

So, according to the authors' findings, compared to ‘normal’ BMIs, ‘overweight’ (BMI 25-<30) and ‘obese’ (BMI 30 up to 35, which includes about 80% of all obese people) are associated with a 25% to 12% lower risk of dying. And the risks associated with the ‘morbidly obese’ (BMIs 35+) are statistically the same as those with ‘normal’ BMIs. These findings coincide with other population studies we've examined.

We read a very different spin the media. It showed how afraid people are to be seen “excusing” obesity. The New York Times, for instance, reported:

Excess Pounds, but Not Too Many, May Lead to Longer Life

…The report, published online last week in the journal Obesity, found that overall, people who were overweight but not obese — defined as a body mass index of 25 to 29.9 — were actually less likely to die than people of normal weight, defined as a B.M.I. of 18.5 to 24.9…
False. The study found obesity (BMIs 30-<35) were also less likely to die than people of a “normal” weight, and that the highest BMIs had statistically the same mortality risks as “normal” weight people.

“Overweight may not be the problem we thought it was,” said Dr. David H. Feeny, a senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore., and one of the authors of the study. “Overweight was protective.”
So was obesity. The relative risks for mortality associated with the corrected BMIs were 25% to 16% lower among the overweight and obese (BMI 30-<35), respectively, compared to “normal weight.” And the risks associated with the most “morbidly obese” — the highest 3% of the population — were effectively the same as those with “normal” BMIs (18.5-<25).

He said the finding may be due to the fact that a little excess weight is protective for the elderly, who are at greatest risk for dying…
While overweight was protective for people from age 60, associated with a 19% lower mortality risk, their data found that being obese (BMI 30-<35) was also protective. But, obesity (BMI 30-<35) was even more strongly associated with reduced mortality in younger adults (25-59 years of age) than among those 60 years and older (11% and 6%, respectively).

It is difficult for the public to realize that what seems intuitively correct about the dangers of being fat, and our diets and lifestyles, is not grounded in science, but in what is currently socially desirable, in vogue and what we hear EVERYWHERE we turn. Marketing and entertainment, packaged as news or information, however, is not science…regardless of the prestige or popularity of the source.