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Tue Jan 1, 2013, 04:21 PM

Study Suggests Lower Death Risk for the Overweight

Source: NYT

A century ago, Elsie Scheel was the perfect woman. So said a 1912 article in The New York Times about how Miss Scheel, 24, was chosen by the “medical examiner of the 400 'co-eds'” at Cornell University as a woman “whose very presence bespeaks perfect health.”

Miss Scheel, however, was hardly model-thin. At 5-foot-7 and 171 pounds, she would, by today's medical standards, be clearly overweight. (Her body mass index was 27; 25 to 29.9 is overweight.)

But a new report suggests that Miss Scheel may have been onto something. The report on nearly three million people found that those whose B.M.I. ranked them as overweight had less risk of dying than people of normal weight. And while obese people had a greater mortality risk over all, those at the lowest obesity level (B.M.I. of 30 to 34.9) were not more likely to die than normal-weight people.

The report, although not the first to suggest this relationship between B.M.I. and mortality, is by far the largest and most carefully done, analyzing nearly 100 studies, experts said.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/02/health/study-suggests-lower-death-risk-for-the-overweight.html

39 replies, 5790 views

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Reply Study Suggests Lower Death Risk for the Overweight (Original post)
alp227 Jan 2013 OP
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #1
Born Free Jan 2013 #34
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #36
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2013 #2
BanzaiBonnie Jan 2013 #14
oldbanjo Jan 2013 #30
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2013 #31
RC Jan 2013 #3
Mojorabbit Jan 2013 #4
high density Jan 2013 #5
Yo_Mama Jan 2013 #7
AtheistCrusader Jan 2013 #13
dipsydoodle Jan 2013 #20
Yo_Mama Jan 2013 #6
freshwest Jan 2013 #8
Skittles Jan 2013 #9
bitchkitty Jan 2013 #10
TexasBushwhacker Jan 2013 #32
bitchkitty Jan 2013 #33
TexasBushwhacker Jan 2013 #39
crim son Jan 2013 #11
SWTORFanatic Jan 2013 #23
AtheistCrusader Jan 2013 #12
bucolic_frolic Jan 2013 #15
lolly Jan 2013 #16
dipsydoodle Jan 2013 #19
SWTORFanatic Jan 2013 #25
L0oniX Jan 2013 #17
melody Jan 2013 #18
latebloomer Jan 2013 #21
csziggy Jan 2013 #22
SWTORFanatic Jan 2013 #24
Recursion Jan 2013 #26
kwassa Jan 2013 #28
Sarah Ibarruri Jan 2013 #27
kwassa Jan 2013 #29
thebard77 Jan 2013 #35
kwassa Jan 2013 #37
thebard77 Jan 2013 #38

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 04:28 PM

1. We never hear about the risks of being underweight, and they can be great.

My philosophy is to eat a healthy diet and get exercise and my weight will got to what is natural for me.

If you have a lot of muscle, let's say you really walk or swim or work out a lot, you may weigh more than others but be healthier than they.

Weight is an issue since we spend so much time looking at photographs and videos. They make us look fatter than we are.

It's ridiculous to go to extremes.

I find if I eat a lot of sugar, I am more prone to get sick. I also cannot eat a lot of starchy stuff because I get sick. If I gain too much weight for my body build, I can't breathe comfortably.

So everyone is different.

Extreme obesity is a danger if you have to undergo certain surgeries. It can also be hard on your heart. Everyone has to find their right diet and balance.

I don't think there is one rule for everyone. And so much depends on how you feel about life, your emotional well-being. That can be more important than weight in my opinion.

I'd love to read what others think about this.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 05:53 AM

34. Maybe eating more often can help at times

One of the things I tell people when they first learn they have cancer and need chemo is that in my very limited experience it seemed those of us that bulked up during chemo did better than those that lost a lot of weight. I know doctors keep saying you need to watch your diet, but eating more often helped me and others feel better during the chemo treatments. I had a lot of trouble with chemo as many do, but snacking on cookies etc often throughout the day at least seemed to lessen the nausea, and the chocolate eclairs may not have helped but they did not make me feel worse.The down side was I gained a lot of weight, and over 7 years later still obese.

One thing the oncologist said to me I remember well. I told him I feared the reason I was having a hard time with the chemo was because I did not have a positive enough attitude and he replied that I was wrong, it was just the opposite, the reason my attitude was not as positive as I would have liked was because I was sick and as I started feeling better my attitude would improve.

I can remember the chemo days, but no longer can "feel" it, almost as though it never happened. When you have cancer, a lot of well meaning people will give you advice but they really do not know what it is like or how wrong they are because they never experienced it, they usually repeat things they read or heard from other people that never experienced it. It can become frustrating as they say "do this" or "do that" . It's about like a white person telling a black person what it is like to be black - knowing some one is not the same as being that person.

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Response to Born Free (Reply #34)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:23 AM

36. Thanks for your post.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 04:33 PM

2. I've often wondered why people the world over gain weight as they grow older

I was first struck by it when visiting Europe in the 1960s. Back then, only 22 years after World War II, the majority did not own cars in many countries, and bicycles were the preferred means of getting around cities. Yes, the young people were enviably slim and healthy looking, but you'd see older people, and they were heavier, even as they rode around on their bicycles.

The same is true in Japan. People gain weight as they age. You still don't see many obese people, but a lot of the women in particular are on the plump side rather than the skinny side by age 50 or so.

My grandmother, born in 1899, was never thin after age 40 or so, but she lived to be 100. Her sister, who followed a similar pattern, got to be 96. Neither of them was ever really fat, but my grandmother wore a size 18 most of the time I knew her.

Maybe there's some evolutionary reason why people's metabolisms slow down in middle age. Maybe people who starve themselves or exercise excessively to maintain the same weight they had when they were twenty--assuming they're not one of those naturally thin people-- damage themselves somehow.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 06:04 PM

14. Yes, metabolism slows down

It's part of the process of winding down the body to take it out. It's nothing personal, it's just the way nature works.

I just finished reading The Metabolic Plan by Stephen Cherniske. Now I'm starting The DHEA Breakthrough, by the same author.

At 57, I have noticed certain indications of an aging body. I am being proactive in regenerating my body using high nutritional components that will support good health for another 50+ years.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:45 AM

30. I'm 67, 6' 1", 200 lb

when I was working I was 175-180 lb. My knees and hips are bad but with very little walking I can stay under 200, I eat almost anything I want, I eat ice cream almost every day in the summer, will gain weight if I eat peanuts, so I don't eat them. This winter has been wet and windy and this keeps me in the house because of my knees. So it's hard to stay under 200. I only walk about 600-700 yards when I'm outside but this is enough to keep my weight below 195.

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Response to oldbanjo (Reply #30)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:52 AM

31. I do water aerobics three to five days a week, and all it does is keep me from gaining

That's in spite of the fact that I eat healthier on a day to day basis than I did when I was young and thin.

My daily lunch when I was a freshman commuting to the University of Minnesota was a cheeseburger and a chocolate soda.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 04:38 PM

3. Women were designed by evolution to have a layer of fat on them.

 

Food was not always in good supply way back in prehistoric times. The fat was a food reserve for pregnant women.
The walking Tinker Toys of today are unhealthy and malnourished.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 04:43 PM

4. These are my exact numbers. LOL

A good piece of news for the new year.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 04:54 PM

5. What is the distribution of people who are at the lower levels of obesity?

It seems like many people who put on weight, do so to extremes. I was certainly one of those people. I maxed out at a BMI of 43.4, which I have brought down to 31.2 over the past six years or so. Another few pounds and I will be merely "overweight" for the first time as an adult.

My blood pressure was really high and it has naturally declined as I've lost weight.

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Response to high density (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 05:13 PM

7. That puts you at a much lower risk category. Good job

Really obese is unhealthy, in part because it goes along with being sedentary.

Heavy or not, being sedentary puts you at real risks.

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Response to high density (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 05:58 PM

13. Good job.

That's tough. I was in the 40's as well, and it was a battle. I'm a little higher than you are now, but still working away at it.

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Response to high density (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 07:00 PM

20. Only figure I've noticed lately

is that by 2030 50% of Americans could be obese.

Fat and getting fatter: U.S. obesity rates to soar by 2030.

(Reuters) - If Americans stick to their eating and exercise habits, future historians will look back on the early 21st century as a golden age of svelte.

Using a model of population and other trends, a new report released on Tuesday by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation projects that half of U.S. adults will be obese by 2030 unless Americans change their ways.

The "F as in Fat" report highlights the current glum picture of the U.S. obesity epidemic, in which 35.7 percent of adults and 16.9 percent of children age 2 to 19 are obese, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported earlier this year.

But for the first time, the report builds on state-by-state data from the CDC to project obesity rates. In every state, that rate will reach at least 44 percent by 2030. In 13, that number would exceed 60 percent.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/18/us-obesity-us-idUSBRE88H0RA20120918

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 05:11 PM

6. This is not news - it's been known for a long time

You don't want to be very overweight, but moderately overweight and active is the healthiest (statistically).

It's less your total weight than the ratio of muscle to fat and how it's distributed.

A very thin person with a potgut has more statistical risk than a heavier person without the big belly.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 05:16 PM

8. Brought up on the thinner, the better way of thinking, wondered about thin people with HBP and

Heart Disease who would have heart attacks and strokes. I know there are other causes for these, but it was what I sought to avoid the most with exerise and all the rest. Some things happen through injuries of all many kinds. What makes 'average' weight is not agreed upon, but I know that women having more weight was considered attractive and normal for centuries. In the USA it was turned around in the sixties, I think. But most people I see on a daily basis in my area are exceedingly slim, but very healthy, too.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 05:40 PM

9. I'm betting they get a lot more nutrution than a lot of stick figures

yes INDEED

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 05:40 PM

10. HUH?

When did this happen? I thought skinny was better.

My BMI is 18.5.

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Response to bitchkitty (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:13 PM

32. There's such a thing as too thin

It puts you at risk for osteoporosis and infertility.

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #32)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 03:51 AM

33. I think I'm at less risk

of death than people who stuff their faces with crap. I may be skinny, but everything that goes into my body is pure and clean. Would be nice to have an ass, though!

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Response to bitchkitty (Reply #33)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 04:17 PM

39. Well a BMI of 18.5 is the absolute bottom limit

Below that is considered to be unhealthy. Some countries are even banning models with BMIs below 18.5. I hope you get a yearly physical. That's something everyone should have. If your doctor thinks you should gain a little weight, you should listen to her.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 05:48 PM

11. Guess I'm going to die young, then.

Not. My entire family is thin and we all live into our eighties and nineties. I think it's all the alcohol we imbibe.

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Response to crim son (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 07:39 PM

23. Eh, my dad's parent's were definitely in the overweight if not

obese category and they lived to 99 and 95.

Mother's side:

Grandmother is overweight or obese, still kicking at 91.

Grandfather was at the low end of normal range or upper end of underweight range, he died at 82 - granted he was the only smoker out of the 4...

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 05:57 PM

12. QUIT TOYING WITH MY EMOTIONS.

Just kidding. I'm determined to get down to a good weight anyway. I can barely complete a marathon right now. Too much baggage.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 06:19 PM

15. I'm encouraged by the density

"overweight had less risk of dying than people of normal weight. And while obese people had a greater mortality risk over all"

How do you have less risk of dying but a greater risk of mortality?

Are they two different things?

And is Miss Scheel still alive? Is that the point of this story?

She'd be 125 today, not beyond the realm of the possible.

If she didn't make it til now, why use her as an example?

Did she have less risk of dying, greater risk of mortality, and died anyway?

Go to show ya it's just like the economists say: in the long run, we're all dead.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #15)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 06:28 PM

16. "Overweight" is not the same as obese

So someone who is, say, 20 pounds over the supposed "ideal" weight might have a lower risk of dying in any given time frame, while someone who is 100 pounds over would have a greater mortality risk.

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Response to lolly (Reply #16)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 06:46 PM

19. ditto

I noticed when I took my mother for a CT scan a couple of weeks ago that the scanner has a weight limit - above that forget it. The limit was far above what would simply be described as overweight.

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Response to lolly (Reply #16)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 07:50 PM

25. I remember a yahoo article 3 or so years ago on this effect and stating

that spare tire might be a life preserver :p

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 06:32 PM

17. LMAO n/t

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 06:37 PM

18. Oh, lord, don't mention that here -- I did a few years ago and got flamed to hell and back

Good luck.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 07:31 PM

21. I had a life-threatening illness a few years back

and went from 145 pounds to 110- and that was WAY too skinny for me. Trying to remind myself now, as I edge back toward that weight, that a little padding may come in very handy.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 07:35 PM

22. So is Elsie Scheel still alive today?

No, she isn't.

What ever happened to Elsie Scheel?

Elsie Rachel Scheel (b. 1888) was born to Sophie Bade Scheel and John H. Scheel of Brooklyn, their fourth child of five. Her mother Sophie was a physician, daughter of German immigrants, practicing and teaching at the New York Medical College and Hospital for Women. Her father John, a hydropath, is credited with coining the term “naturopathy.” So she came from a family deeply involved in health and wellness, and more than passing supportive of women’s education and suffrage. Sophie died in 1933; Elsie’s younger sister Senie Scheel died in Florida in 1985, age 93.

Not too long after leaving Cornell, Elsie married Frederick Rudolf Hirsh, and had at least two children, Elise and John (1921-2004). Her son John became a surgeon in Florida.

http://pennamite.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/what-ever-happened-to-elsie-scheel/


Florida Death Index, 1877-1998
Name: Elsie Hirsh
Death Date: 18 Sep 1979
County of Death: Osceola
State of Death: Florida
Age at Death: 90
Race: White
Birth Date: 21 Sep 1888
Ancestry.com


So she lived to a respectable age, but one person's story does not tell us what is healthy for all people, only what worked for her.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 07:45 PM

24. I'm 6'2, 215 pounds, large frame, and relatively muscular female

Though I would like to be lighter for aesthetic reasons I don't believe my weight contributes to any health issues - other than no longer being able to pullups (which I could do at 10-15 pounds lighter) and it affects my distance running speed.

My BMI is 27.6, slightly more than halfway between overweight and obese. I do think it unfairly punishes taller people, people with larger frames, and people with more muscle mass. Again, I would love to be thinner but being halfway towards obese I think is a bit of a stretch

Also I'll be going in for surgery and my surgeon has something about being over 25 BMI making surgery more difficult on his website. I asked him if it would be an issue in my case and he laughed.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 08:02 PM

26. Overweight has never been more dangerous than weight fluctuation

There is no way around the fact that the US public health community has a dangerous anorexic ideation.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #26)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 10:02 PM

28. It does? Where do you get that from?

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 09:53 PM

27. I think anorexic fashion has set the "health" standards for this country

We have the media to blame for that. It's like when they kept promoting margarine over butter, and low fat foods as healthier. I read the other day that overdoing it at the gym is also harmful.

My grandparents lived into their late 90s, never saw a gym, never ate low fat foods, never maintained a low weight. They were somewhat above average in weight. However, in accordance to the health bs we hear, they lived wrong.

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Reply #27)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 10:13 PM

29. Low fat foods are healthier, particularly low saturated fat foods.

Health standards are not bs. They are based on science, not on fashion photos of anorexic models. Science is learning more about proper nutrition and lifestyle all the time.

There may be many other factors affecting your grandparents' longevity, such as genetics and levels of physical activity, as well as the overall nutritional balance in their diet.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #29)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 08:05 AM

35. Not necessarily true.

 

Low fat is a marketing term and has nothing to do with health. You have to read the label. Many foods that are "low fat" have higher calorie and refined carbohydrates. Also, because low fat food tends to have less "taste" than its counterpart, people tend to eat more of it thinking its fine. America started to get fat when diet and low fat products hit the shelves. People bought them in boat loads thinking it was a better choice.

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Response to thebard77 (Reply #35)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 05:40 PM

37. Low fat is a real term, too.

and has a lot to do with health. Anyone who says otherwise knows little about the science of nutrition.

Of course you have to read the label. Note I said low SATURATED fat. Right there on the label. And, I never believe the claims of processed food claiming to be healthy, I check out the contents.

There are other dietary considerations as well. Eating a low fat diet is to eat a diet also low in processed food in the first place. America was fat long before low fat processed foods hit the shelves. Most people don't care. They eat without any considerations for health, really. They like what they like.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #37)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:55 PM

38. Actually no

 

You said "Low fat foods are healthier, particularly low saturated fat foods." This would indicate all low fat foods especially those that are low in saturated fats. Anyway, I'm not interested in one upping you.

The reason America is fat is twofold. A. The foods we eat are garbage and often, the worse the food the cheaper it is. This is why you see many impoverished obese individuals. If all you can afford is generic over processed foods, the likelihood of obesity problems increase? B. Compounded to A is the fact that no one actually does anything anymore besides stay indoors and experience the distractions of television, video games, computers etc. The work force is also more sedentary now due to increased demand for computer entry and IT in the work force. We work more hours than ever before and we spend far less time in physical activity. Obesity problems were inevitable given our technological and social evolution.

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