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Sun Jan 6, 2013, 05:33 AM

Our Absurd Fear of Fat

Our Absurd Fear of Fat
Paul Campos

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/03/opinion/our-imaginary-weight-problem.html

To put some flesh on these statistical bones, the study found a 6 percent decrease in mortality risk among people classified as overweight and a 5 percent decrease in people classified as Grade 1 obese, the lowest level (most of the obese fall in this category). This means that average-height women — 5 feet 4 inches — who weigh between 108 and 145 pounds have a higher mortality risk than average-height women who weigh between 146 and 203 pounds. For average-height men — 5 feet 10 inches — those who weigh between 129 and 174 pounds have a higher mortality risk than those who weigh between 175 and 243 pounds.

Now, if we were to employ the logic of our public health authorities, who treat any correlation between weight and increased mortality risk as a good reason to encourage people to try to modify their weight, we ought to be telling the 75 million American adults currently occupying the government’s “healthy weight” category to put on some pounds, so they can move into the lower risk, higher-weight categories.

In reality, of course, it would be nonsensical to tell so-called normal-weight people to try to become heavier to lower their mortality risk. Such advice would ignore the fact that tiny variations in relative risk in observational studies provide no scientific basis for concluding either that those variations are causally related to the variable in question or that this risk would change if the variable were altered.

This is because observational studies merely record statistical correlations: we don’t know to what extent, if any, the slight decrease in mortality risk observed among people defined as overweight or moderately obese is caused by higher weight or by other factors. Similarly, we don’t know whether the small increase in mortality risk observed among very obese people is caused by their weight or by any number of other factors, including lower socioeconomic status, dieting and the weight cycling that accompanies it, social discrimination and stigma, or stress

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Arrow 79 replies Author Time Post
Reply Our Absurd Fear of Fat (Original post)
eridani Jan 2013 OP
Tutonic Jan 2013 #1
eridani Jan 2013 #2
Warren DeMontague Jan 2013 #5
eridani Jan 2013 #7
Warren DeMontague Jan 2013 #16
eridani Jan 2013 #36
eridani Jan 2013 #38
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #43
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #42
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 #3
Warren DeMontague Jan 2013 #6
eridani Jan 2013 #22
BainsBane Jan 2013 #54
eridani Jan 2013 #9
Warren DeMontague Jan 2013 #18
eridani Jan 2013 #21
Warren DeMontague Jan 2013 #24
eridani Jan 2013 #30
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #45
Warren DeMontague Jan 2013 #48
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #56
eridani Jan 2013 #57
Warren DeMontague Jan 2013 #4
eridani Jan 2013 #8
Warren DeMontague Jan 2013 #15
eridani Jan 2013 #19
Warren DeMontague Jan 2013 #23
eridani Jan 2013 #44
Warren DeMontague Jan 2013 #46
eridani Jan 2013 #47
Warren DeMontague Jan 2013 #49
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #50
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #59
Arcanetrance Jan 2013 #10
OccupyManny Jan 2013 #11
mrsadm Jan 2013 #12
eridani Jan 2013 #13
TrogL Jan 2013 #14
eridani Jan 2013 #20
TrogL Jan 2013 #29
Iris Jan 2013 #41
TrogL Jan 2013 #74
Iris Jan 2013 #79
Skittles Jan 2013 #61
Skittles Jan 2013 #52
eridani Jan 2013 #53
Skittles Jan 2013 #60
duffyduff Jan 2013 #76
Iris Jan 2013 #39
99Forever Jan 2013 #17
flvegan Jan 2013 #25
Systematic Chaos Jan 2013 #26
Warren DeMontague Jan 2013 #27
eridani Jan 2013 #31
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #51
obamanut2012 Jan 2013 #66
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #28
LisaLynne Jan 2013 #34
eridani Jan 2013 #37
LisaLynne Jan 2013 #69
Iris Jan 2013 #40
LisaLynne Jan 2013 #70
Iris Jan 2013 #71
muriel_volestrangler Jan 2013 #32
eridani Jan 2013 #33
muriel_volestrangler Jan 2013 #35
Warpy Jan 2013 #55
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #58
eridani Jan 2013 #62
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #63
eridani Jan 2013 #65
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #68
eridani Jan 2013 #72
duffyduff Jan 2013 #77
eridani Jan 2013 #78
Warpy Jan 2013 #73
Kalidurga Jan 2013 #64
eridani Jan 2013 #67
duffyduff Jan 2013 #75

Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 06:14 AM

1. I think that there have been multiple (perhaps thousands) of scientific studies conducted

to prove that obesity or higher-weights in general reduce life expectancy. I also believe that there is an occasional study or placebo to refute those perhaps thousands of scientific studies. Is this latest research study that placebo?

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Response to Tutonic (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 06:21 AM

2. The study in question is a meta-analysis

--i.e a survey of nearly a hundred different studies from all around the world with more than 3 million subjects.

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Response to eridani (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 07:09 AM

5. Oh what scientific basis is he suggesting that very obese people are killed by "social stigma"?

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 07:14 AM

7. Like, say, not going to the doctor because the diagnosis is always "lose weight"

--regardles of what the problem is? Like facing discrimination in employment and housing? That kind of thing kills, and not just fat people.

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Response to eridani (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:31 PM

16. the first assertion seems a bit spurious, to say the least.

If people want to rationalize not wanting to lose weight, or being fat, they should just acknowledge that's what they're doing, instead of concocting elaborate sociological rationales for the thing.

The bottom line is, obesity isn't good for you.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #16)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 02:21 AM

36. If people want to rationalize not wanting to be heterosexual

or being gay, they should just acknowledge that's what they're doing, instead of concocting elaborate sociological rationales for the thing.

The bottom line is, being gay isn't good for you. Neither is being male or being black.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #16)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 03:16 AM

38. Nice rationale there for being an accessory after the fact to bullycide

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_of_Kelly_Yeomans

In evidence to court, Yeomans was described as a pleasant and friendly girl. However, she was reported to be the victim of repeated harassment and taunting, particularly about her weight. Her parents said that the incessant bullying had left Yeomans feeling miserable. Her mother asserted that she had gone to her daughter's school, Merrill College, Shelton Lock, thirty times to complain about the issue, but received no assistance. School officials, however, claimed they had received only one complaint.

Matters came to a head in September, 1997, when a group of youths reportedly gathered at Yeomans's home on several consecutive nights, on each occasion throwing food at the house and shouting taunts aimed at Yeomans. Her mother later said that the incident prompted Yeomans to tell her family, "It is nothing to do with you Daddy, nothing to do with you Mummy, and nothing to do with you Sarah . I have had enough and I'm going to take an overdose."

The parents said they were worried and sought help for their daughter's obvious depression, but did not believe she would carry out her threat to take her own life. However, Yeomans was soon found dead in her bedroom after taking an overdose of painkillers.


Tough to get enough exercise if you can't do it in public for fear of constant vicious abuse.

http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/1997/03/23/met_205736.shtml

Jacqueline Graham still can't bring herself to show her son's room to a stranger, but you don't need to look past the photos in the living room to see who he was: He was the fat kid who didn't have any friends. The easy target. The mark. It's all there in his eyes: The sweetness. The shyness. The hurt.

At 5 feet 4, 174 pounds, he wasn't the heaviest kid at his school. But he was sensitive, and when others teased him about his weight, when they chased him down the street or smacked the back of his head when the teacher wasn't looking, he sometimes cried. In the social hierarchy of fifth grade at Westwood Heights Elementary School, that put him squarely at the bottom.

WOULD THINGS HAVE been any different at Parkway Middle School? Sammy was to have started sixth grade there that Monday, the morning his father cut him down from the tree.

<snip>

He was logical and precise, gifted not only at puzzles but at music and math. He could dissect complex arguments with lawyerly skill. Yet he liked the same toys as his cousin, an infant. And he was awkward and clumsy; he couldn't even clap. Josh rode a bike before he could.

In the water, his awkwardness vanished. Not in the daytime - he was too ashamed to let anyone see him in his bathing suit. He had to swim in long pants and a shirt. But at night, it was magic, like shedding his body. In the water at night, he was free.

<snip>

He can only imagine how it must have happened, how God must have watched Sammy steal into the yard with a flashlight, a rope and a step stool, having pieced together his final puzzle: The body he hated. The school he feared. The perfect place that awaited his soul.

He could go there. He would go there. It would be easy, like swimming. Just position the stool and climb up, toward heaven. Then step into God's waiting arms.

http://blogs.sfweekly.com/exhibitionist/2011/09/marilyn_wann_bullycide.php

Teens who perceive themselves as "too fat" -- regardless of what they actually weigh -- are more likely to think about suicide and attempt suicide, according to a 2005 study.

In April, two 14-year-old best friends in Minnesota, Haylee Fentress and Paige Moravetz, died in a shared suicide. Haylee was teased for her weight and her red hair. Haylee's aunt, Robin Settle, said that although Haylee wasn't "severely overweight," she was so self-conscious she rarely ate at school.

Brian Head was 15. One day, students were pulling his hair and slapping him. He had been bullied for his weight since seventh grade. He shot himself. In a poem discovered later, Brian described himself, "as an insignificant 'thing,' something to be traded, mangled, and mocked," reports Barbara Colorosa, author of The Bully, the Bullied and the Bystander. Brian's father successfully lobbied for a law in Georgia that makes bullying a crime.

Brian's death wasn't the last weight-related bullycide. In 1996, I heard about 12-year-old Samuel Graham, who hanged himself from the family's backyard tree rather than start junior high and face taunts about his weight.

In 2004, eighth-grader April Himes skipped 53 days of school to avoid weight-based bullying. School officials were unable to stop the harassment, but they also informed her she must attend or face a truancy board and possible juvenile detention. At that news, she hanged herself.



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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #16)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 03:54 AM

43. The science says something different. It's well-known in the field; moderate overweight - moderate

 

obesity, statistically, = lower mortality.

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Response to Tutonic (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 03:52 AM

42. no. this has been well-known for some time.

 

In fact, BMI values in the overweight range appeared to be slightly protective relative to normal weight with a hazard ratio of 0.94 (95% CI 0.91 to 0.96), the researchers found.

Results from earlier studies have also shown lower mortality associated with moderate overweight and obesity. "Possible explanations have included earlier presentation of heavier patients, greater likelihood of receiving optimal medical treatment, cardioprotective metabolic effects of increased body fat, and benefits of higher metabolic reserves," the researchers suggested.

http://www.clinicaladvisor.com/no-increased-mortality-for-mildly-overweight/article/274504/#

BMI < 23 also = increased mortality.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 06:34 AM

3. Our weight problem is not imaginary

I don't care for the tone of the article. One doesn't best correct a mistaken impression by creating and equally false countervailing mistaken impression.

Being moderately overweight is not very dangerous, statistically.

Being extremely overweight is. (And isolated belly fatness probably is a warning sign in moderately overweight people.)


But after the myths are cleared away, we still have the fact that in exurban and rural America you cannot go shopping without seeing several people who are much fatter than the fat lady or fat man in a 1920s circus side-show.

The reality is a very real morbid obesity epidemic combined with an over-broad definition of obesity.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 07:12 AM

6. I wouldn't write off the possibility of unknown environmental variables being a factor, too.

I'm not "oh, blame the fat people". American diets, particularly in certain states, suck. There's no doubt on that. And God knows there are enough people who think exercise consists of lifting the latest issue of Us from the supermarket rack or doing 2 couch squats an hour to a vigorous regimen of "I Married A Kardashian".

But there have also been disturbingly unexplained observations around animals, like lab animals, mysteriously getting fatter in recent decades as well:

http://news.discovery.com/animals/fat-pets-obesity-weight.html

There may be chemicals in the environment which are contributing to this.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 06:25 PM

22. Could very well be the case

Wondering if there are any direct effects on health.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 04:32 AM

54. a recent study suggests a particular bacteria may induce obesity

I saw the article linked from DU. Stress and irregular sleep habits also contribute, along with all the other things we already know about--overeating, not getting enough exercise, and for a small percentage of people, hormones.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 07:21 AM

9. So? All those people live longer than people did in the 1920s

Mostly because of reduced infant mortality, to be sure. The entire package of urban industrialization is healthier for everyone, all told. Of course it could be tweaked a lot to make it better--walkable cities, elimination of food deserts, subsidizing fruits and veggies instead of high fructose corn syrup, etc. Not sure why anyone thinks these things would lead to the elimination of overweight or obesity, even though we would likely weigh somewhat less on average.

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Response to eridani (Reply #9)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 05:29 PM

18. Trying to redefine very obese as somehow "healthy" isn't going to help.

If people want to be fat, hey, that's their call. Consenting adults and whatnot. In fact, go to any mall in America and you'll see LOTS of folks who don't seem terribly wrought out about it at all, happily munching on corndogs and 90 oz. slurpees, "social stigma" notwithstanding.

But it's not healthy.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #18)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 06:21 PM

21. And you'll see lots of people munching on corndogs and drinking slurpees--

--who aren't fat. And you'll also see fat people who walk or do other exercise in public, despite the constant public abuse.

Fat is neither healthy nor unhealthy. Regardless of weight, anyone can decide to eat healthier food and be more active.

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Response to eridani (Reply #21)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 07:13 PM

24. No one should be "abused", no matter what they look like.

And lots of factors- including genetics- are involved. But I haven't known any overweight people, or obese people, who haven't seen some improvement with dietary and exercise changes.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #24)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:52 AM

30. True. However, "some improvement" = "still fat" for most

You may feel better and have better blood chemistry and blood pressure, but there is no drop in the level of public abuse.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #18)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 04:00 AM

45. Except the science says that indeed, moderately obese are healthy, as measured by mortality risk.

 

I conclude that your bitch is an aesthetic rather than scientific one. You find the sight of fat people eating distasteful. We could call it a prejudice.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #45)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 04:12 AM

48. I rarely go to the mall, and I don't give a shit what other people do.

Unlike some people, I'm not into telling consenting adults how to live their lives. And if people want to be fat, more power to them.

However, they're not entitled to their own facts; "moderately obese" by the standard AMA weight chart probably includes most people who would be considered "thin" or "average" in the USA. I'm slightly over my weight for my height, because I'm stockier and bigger than the average. Yet, I'm in fairly good shape.

The height-weight charts and categories don't tell the whole story, but it's definitely NOT healthy for people to be very obese. Fat, in general, is not good for people.

Again, I don't care nor do I judge what other people do. I do observe it, however. But the only fat person it bothers me to see is in the mirror, which is why I exercise regularly and try to keep a healthy diet.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #48)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 04:42 AM

56. There's no such 'standard AMA weight chart'. Old-style Height/Weight charts aren't typically used

 

in clinical practice, and there never was any "AMA" chart anyway.

BMI is used; the standards are quite clear & near-universally used in clinical practice in medicine & dietetics.



Very severely underweight = <15
Severely underweight = 15-16

Underweight = 16-18.5

Normal (healthy weight) = 18.5-25

Overweight = 25-30

Obese Class I (Moderately obese) = 30-35
Obese Class II (Severely obese) = 35-40
Obese Class III (Very severely obese) >40



I'm 5'6". If I weighed 215 pounds my BMI would be 34.7, classified as 'moderately obese'.

I actually weigh 135, & at that weight I have a pot belly & noticeable fat around my waist, though my BMI is low-normal (21.8).

If I weighed 215 I'd be obviously obese. No one would consider me 'thin' at 215 by any stretch of the imagination.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #48)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 04:47 AM

57. Well, women have more fat than men, and we live longer

So there.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 07:07 AM

4. It's not simply weight, so those height-weight charts don't tell the whole story.

But the simple truth is, fat is not good for people. It's not, and no amount of rationalizing will make it so. To say "we don't know" if being "very obese" is bad for peoples' health; I'm sorry, Paul Campos law professor, but I'm really not sure you're qualified to be giving that sort of medical advice. And to assert that "social stigma" is what's killing very obese people.. Really?

I'm slightly above average height for a man, but broad shouldered. Relatively big. I had a period of time when I was younger when I was heavy. Probably 30 lbs over where I should be, for a couple years. Took shit care of myself- bad diet, no exercise, not good lifestyle choices.

I made a conscious decision to do something about it, first by radically changing my diet, to the point of eliminating all dairy, meat and any animal fat for a couple years (which made a big difference) and eventually adding religious regular exercise to the mix. Then weights to add muscle mass.

I am not at the "ideal" weight for my height, but I'm within 10 or so lbs close. Like I said, I'm bigger, with more muscle weight, than the "average". But I know I'm in pretty good shape since I made these changes. I look better, my mood is better, I eat better, sleep better, etc. And I damn well feel a hell of a lot better than I did when I was in crap shape.

I'd be more interested in seeing if there's a mortality difference between the men who are 5'10" and 175 lbs and those who are 243 lbs, when both those are counted as the "same" category in the times piece. I'm willing to bet the people at 243 lbs have more health issues.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 07:15 AM

8. And women with proportionally more fat and less muscle are statistically going to outlive you n/t

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Response to eridani (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:29 PM

15. Meh

it's not a contest.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #15)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 06:07 PM

19. No, just trying to counter the meme that

muscle = good
fat = bad

Not accusing you of subscribing to it.

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Response to eridani (Reply #19)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 07:10 PM

23. Well, women generally outlive men, period.

So not a whole helluva lot I can do, there.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #23)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 03:56 AM

44. And if getting sex changes won't help men live longer--

--why assume that weight loss will help anyone live longer?

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Response to eridani (Reply #44)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 04:07 AM

46. Oh, Maybe sex changes DO help men live longer.

It just seems to be sort of a drastic action to take to gain maybe 5 or so years.

I'm rather enjoying living life as a relatively fit male. Even though I'm happily married, I like that women flirt with me in the grocery store, again.

It was all of a sudden, after I got back into shape, and I was like "oh, yeah- I remember that"

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #46)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 04:11 AM

47. Actually not. Sex changes shorten men's lives

Maybe refinement of the process could change that in the future, but for the time being you have to choose between gender dysphoria and a few extra years.

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Response to eridani (Reply #47)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 04:13 AM

49. Did not know that.



Edited to add: I wonder if there have been enough of them to really have a scientific sampling which can garner data.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 04:17 AM

50. Height-weight charts aren't used much anymore in clinical practice. Also, Campos doesn't say

 

what you claim he did, nor did he give out any medical advice.

"we don’t know whether the small increase in mortality risk observed among very obese people is caused by their weight or by any number of other factors, including lower socioeconomic status, dieting and the weight cycling that accompanies it, social discrimination and stigma, or stress."


1. Very overweight people (BMI >35) have a slightly increased mortality risk.
2. We don't know if the increased mortality is caused by weight or other factors

(I'd editorialize & say we don't know the extent to which various factors play in, as e.g. being overweight is associated with lower SES, itself independently associated with poor health, & both weight & low income are stigmatized).

Low BMI & high % fat-free mass is associated with increased mortality, BTW. Being 'cut' is not healthy -- according to the science.

Weight loss may make someone feel better for lots of reasons. Some may have measurable physical correlates linked to mortality risk, e.g. blood pressure, blood sugar.

Others may simply = psychological effect of better self image as measured against prevailing social norms.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 04:54 AM

59. Height-weight charts went out the window about 25 years ago.

 

If you're 5'10" & weigh 175, your bmi is 25.1 -- top range of normal.

If you weigh 243, your bmi is 34.9, top range of 'moderately obese'.

Statistically your mortality risk is equal.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 07:32 AM

10. My biggest problem with the weight thing is I would be considered overweight

I'm 5'11 and 285 but I'm built like a damn wall I'm naturally large frame and keep doing a lot of the workout routine from when I played football but every time I see my doctor I'm told I need to lose weight and I'm obese.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 08:43 AM

11. Thank you for posting this

Both my wife and I are considered "plus sizes", but we are very healthy. I am 5'10" and weigh in at 290 and my wife is 5'4" and weighs in at 185. We are very conscious of what we eat and don't worry about our weight and neither does our doctor. I really get angry when people call us fat.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 08:58 AM

12. This article is BAD SCIENCE, please read on!

Correlation does not equal causation. Repeat this three times.

Just because something happens to happen in a group of people with "A", does not mean that something causes "A".

For example, a group of bald fat men who own red sports cars, have a higher rate of heart attacks then the general male population. Therefore, red sports cars cause heart attacks. NO.

Watch this, very entertaining and educational:
Tom Naughton on "Science for Smart People:
" target="_blank">

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Response to mrsadm (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 09:03 AM

13. Can you read?

From the article.

This is because observational studies merely record statistical correlations: we don’t know to what extent, if any, the slight decrease in mortality risk observed among people defined as overweight or moderately obese is caused by higher weight or by other factors. Similarly, we don’t know whether the small increase in mortality risk observed among very obese people is caused by their weight or by any number of other factors,

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:41 AM

14. I'm 193 6'0 and get winded tying my shoes or doing stairs

As a teenager I was 127. I'd like to be somewhere in the middle

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Response to TrogL (Reply #14)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 06:12 PM

20. I weigh more than that at 5' 5"

I didn't get winded doing nine months of nearly daily precinct walking. I can bend over and put both hands flat on the ground, so no trouble with tying shoes. I'm looking at more formal exercise programs, as this year won't provide the automatic motivation.

If you want better aerobic conditioning, just be more active. I'm following Michael Moore on Twitter, and he has been doing daily walking for a year, with no goal other than to just walk. People ask him how much he's lost and he has no idea--he just wants to walk.

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Response to eridani (Reply #20)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 07:59 PM

29. I need to lay off the eggnog and take the dogs for a walk

They hate going out in winter as a group and howl the house down if I take one out on its own.

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Response to TrogL (Reply #29)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 03:34 AM

41. Your dogs - why do they hate going out as a group in the winter?

That makes me laugh. Pets can be so peculiar! How many dogs do you have?

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Response to Iris (Reply #41)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 06:47 PM

74. 3 dachshunds and mixes

The purebred dachshund will go about 30 feet in cold weather, then sit down, his way of saying "that's it - I'm not going another step". One of others does like getting his feet wet so he'll start trying to walk on 3 feet, then two, then one but I think he's doing that because of the other dog - alone he's fine. She loves the snow and will walk in it forever, as will the second dog as long as he's alone, but if the other two get left behind, they'll howl the house down until we get back.

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Response to TrogL (Reply #74)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 06:52 AM

79. sounds like a fun bunch!

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Response to TrogL (Reply #29)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 05:07 AM

61. TrogL

get you some walking DVDs - try Leslie Sansome; some of hers can be found at Walmart in the fitness department, or ordered online - then you won't have to worry about the weather

http://www.collagevideo.com/searchresults.aspx?type=all&search=leslie+sansome

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Response to eridani (Reply #20)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 04:27 AM

52. WTF

I am a size 6 and cannot bend over and put both hands flat on the ground

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Response to Skittles (Reply #52)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 04:30 AM

53. I've always been flexible--I think it's just a genetic thing.

I used to be able to put both heels behind my ears, but gave up trying to do that at age 55.

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Response to eridani (Reply #53)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 05:00 AM

60. well, count me as a non fat-phobe, eridani

I grew up with a severely autistic brother and learned the art, "WHAT THE F*** ARE YOU LOOKING AT" very, VERY young. I WILL KICK FAT-PHOBE ASS!!!

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Response to eridani (Reply #20)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 06:59 PM

76. I don't get winded and I bet I am more fit than these people who are obsessed with appearance

I am not that overweight, but I have had this issue, among many other symptoms, most of my life because of a malfunctioning thyroid. Your "weight" can be a symptom of a PHYSICAL problem which can only be treated medically such as thyroid disease, VERY common around and after menopause. I am sure I have Hashimoto's, but I have no money to see a doctor. It wrecks hell on your body and causes many, many symptoms.


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Response to TrogL (Reply #14)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 03:16 AM

39. I weigh far more than you and take a cycling class

twice a week, do some other form of aerobic exercise at least two other days, yoga one day a week and some strength training at least twice a week.

try adding more activity into your life, like walking 30 months a day. you could see a big difference.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:49 PM

17. Gives one pause to think, doesn't it? n/t

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 07:20 PM

25. Dangerous assumption to jump to, attorney Campos.

Stick to blogging and shaming the process of becoming a lawyer. Leave nutrition, medicine, etc to the grownups please.

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Response to flvegan (Reply #25)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 07:46 PM

27. Agreed.

Exactly.

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Response to flvegan (Reply #25)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:07 AM

31. Explain what is dangerous about the following statement

In reality, of course, it would be nonsensical to tell so-called normal-weight people to try to become heavier to lower their mortality risk.


Facts about how weight is in reality related to longevity are dangerous how? The people who are promoting dangerous myths are the ones who think that weight loss should be a goal that preempts goals such as being more active and eating more nutritious foods.

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Response to flvegan (Reply #25)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 04:26 AM

51. He's reporting the results of a meta-analysis of nearly 100 scientific studies with more than a

 

a million subjects.

Most of the reports we read in media about research into weight, diet & health are written by non-experts. Often over-hyping results of low statistical significance or low numbers of subjects. Often they amount to PR releases for various behind-the-scenes interests.

Moderately overweight to moderately obese people have no increased risk of mortality compared to normal weight people, and perhaps even a lower risk of mortality: this is not new news, it's been documented for some time. This is simply the biggest meta-analysis done on the topic.

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Response to flvegan (Reply #25)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 06:04 AM

66. this

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 07:56 PM

28. I don't claim to be better than skinny people but they seem to think they are better than me

and to that I say Bullshit. I am tired of the prejudice in this country toward those of us who are bigger and I refuse to buy into it. As long as my doctor says my blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and other vitals are fine then I will eat what I want and I will be whatever size I want and all those skinny people out there that think they are better than me can kiss my butt.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #28)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 07:50 AM

34. See, that's really the problem, IMHO.

It's another form of prejudice, but when people think they can be like, "Oh, but I'm just concerned for your health", somehow that gives them a pass to mock and belittle. THAT is my problem with it and THAT is why I like studies like the one this article discusses, because it takes away one of their rationalizations for their prejudice.

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Response to LisaLynne (Reply #34)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 02:25 AM

37. Exactly parallel nonsense is commonly spouted about LGBT people

Gay is unhealthy! Look at the suicide rates among gay teens!

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Response to eridani (Reply #37)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:25 AM

69. Wow, you are right!

Same BS tactics applied to different situations.

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Response to LisaLynne (Reply #34)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 03:19 AM

40. Not to mention the multi-million dollar diet industry that might

suffer if we focused on individual health measures vs an arbitrary and constantly changing "ideal"

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Response to Iris (Reply #40)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:26 AM

70. Very true.

Also, the diet industry makes more money if their product fails which is a crazy thing.

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Response to LisaLynne (Reply #70)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:43 AM

71. Yes. It becomes an endless cycle.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 07:15 AM

32. Any link to the study, or another commentary on it, not behind the NYT paywall?

Thanks in advance to anyone.

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Response to eridani (Reply #33)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:23 AM

35. Thank you (nt)

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 04:37 AM

55. Weight gain at menopause is such a universal phenomenon

I've often wondered if it had a protective aspect.

And so it does. Nice to know.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #55)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 04:48 AM

58. Fat cells make estrogen. Even after menopause. I think that's the connection.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #58)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 05:11 AM

62. Not estradiol--estrone and other metabolites

The metabolites are still helpful, though not packing the punch of estradiol.

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Response to eridani (Reply #62)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 05:47 AM

63. Fat cells produce estradiol as well.

 

In postmenopausal women the median estradiol ester concentration also exceeded that of serum free estradiol. The very low serum levels of free and esterified estradiol in postmenopausal women compared with adipose tissue levels suggest that the vast majority of estradiol is produced and stored in adipose tissue in these women. This also indicates that the estradiol originating in adipose tissue is not effectively transported elsewhere. The estradiol ester to free estradiol ratio was higher in adipose tissue than in serum in all pregnant and postmenopausal women, and in all but one nonpregnant, obese premenopausal woman, indicating active esterification capacity in fat tissue.

The pathways for fatty acid esterification of estradiol as well as other steroid hormones have been observed in different organisms ranging from invertebrates, including insects, to vertebrates...The exact mechanisms of the endogenous formation of estradiol fatty acid esters are not fully known. In blood, estradiol fatty acid esters synthesized by LCAT circulate associated with lipoprotein particles, especially with high-density lipoprotein (12). It has been proposed that estradiol esters are formed in situ in various tissues by specific acyltransferases (1, 16, 17)...

In conclusion, estradiol esterification with fatty acids is relatively low during estrogen excess associated with pregnancy but increases with lower levels of circulating estradiol. In the postmenopause the overwhelming majority of estradiol is present in adipose tissue, mostly in the form of fatty acid esters. In contrast, serum esterified and free estradiol concentrations are low, suggesting that the effects of estradiol produced in adipose tissue are not systemic but local.

http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/92/11/4327.full

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #63)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 06:03 AM

65. Yes--estradiol is produced, but it doesn't get exported

Its metabolites do, however.

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Response to eridani (Reply #65)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 06:46 AM

68. some gets exported; and estrones can be converted to estradiol by the liver. I don't understand

 

what your point is. Mine was that fat cells make estrogen; that includes both estradiol and estrone, and production increases after menopause. Which may mean that weight gain after menopause has some protective aspect.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #68)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 02:02 PM

72. Estrone can act directly as well

I'm thinking that the main benefit is probably bone density protection. Heavier women are at far less risk of osteoporosis. According to my postmenopause bone scan, I have the bone density of a healthy 26 year old.

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Response to eridani (Reply #72)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 07:00 PM

77. I do weight-bearing exercise all the time, and I bet I am in better shape than most "thin" people.

n/t

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #77)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:39 PM

78. The physiologist Paul Ernsberger once said that

--all fat people are by definition weightlifters.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #58)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 02:35 PM

73. They also give us an energy reserve to tap

when severe illness strikes. I know fluffy old ladies who weren't diabetic did better overall than skinny old ladies who weren't diabetic did after a lot of surgeries.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 06:00 AM

64. I don't fear fat...

Currently I am obese and losing weight. But, weight loss isn't my goal. It was actually an accident. It started when I gave up meat. Which was also not my idea, it was my youngest daughters and I was like what the heck, it's a new year (last new year's) and I quit my job and I am starting school again so yeah more stress yay. Anyway it turned out to not be stressful at all at least at first then I noticed that meat is everywhere and it's not always easy to find a vegetarian friendly restaurant. But, I digress. My diet probably wasn't a lot healthier, it's easy to eat unhealthy food no matter whether it includes meat or not. But, my thinking got a lot clearer and I felt marginally better. Then a couple months ago I ran out of food except for a container of oatmeal my daughter left behind when she went to college. So, I ate that and I would like to say that it was an instant cure it wasn't but pretty close. After a couple of days I noticed that my mood was a lot better, a few weeks later my joints felt better, a few weeks after that IBS symptoms vastly improved, a month later I can get into pants that I had gotten to big for.

So, in just a couple of months most of symptoms that I have had that have been bothering me have started to clear up. I am still fatigued, but I feel like I can focus a lot easier than I have been. I am more flexible. I do hope to continue to lose weight, but it's never going to be the main focus for me. I mostly want more energy and to be healthier. I don't care what people think of me and people mostly don't treat me badly for my weight. Even in high school when I was teased it wasn't because of my weight (mostly) and I was pretty big even then. I can remember two incidents that were directly because of my weight, I pouted about that for a month or two and stopped associated with those people and I felt better. I don't hang with shallow people. So anyway, not really worried about people abusing me when I go for walks my middle finger still works fine.

All that being said. I think people who are 19 to 20 pounds overweight can be healthy and people that are normal weight can be just as unhealthy as someone who is obese. It's a complicated issue, but I have seen what normal people eat and I have seen a lot of pretty lazy normal weight people. I can't believe that someone can eat junk food all day will be healthy they might be ok in the short term but long term probably not even if their weight doesn't go up. I would never recommend someone in my weight category do nothing about their health. I doubt it's healthy for anyone to be morbidly obese. But, I wouldn't tell them to focus on losing weight either. It's a symptom of other problems probably more pressing. Problems like insomnia and a poor diet. There are probably other issues as well. I would focus on those things urge them to get more sleep and eat more fresh food, less meat or eliminate it altogether, eat more fiber, drink more water, exercise if you can even if it's sitting down and bopping to some tunes. Just move more and eat better food don't focus on calories focus on eating quality foods and eat a lot less sugary processed foods.

Sorry for the ramble but, I am really tired of the focus of the problem being on pounds and calories and how people look. There are a lot of different body types and it's very difficult to pin down someone's ideal weight. It is not however, difficult to pin down what healthy vital signs are or what is healthy to eat and what is not.

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Response to Kalidurga (Reply #64)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 06:06 AM

67. I agree. All the things you are focusing on are much healthier than focusing on weight

I'm betting that you'll see lots of improvements in your health.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 06:50 PM

75. Paul Campos is one of the best observers of this issue in the country

Thank you for posting this.

Fat-hatred is a symptom of somebody with a very shallow mindset which is that your worth as a person depends on your looks--especially if you are female.

They hide behind their health/fitness cult to cover up some deep-seated prejudice.

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