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Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:49 PM

Our Imaginary Weight Problem

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/03/opinion/our-imaginary-weight-problem.html?_r=2

CCORDING to the United States government, nearly 7 out of 10 American adults weigh too much. (In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention categorized 74 percent of men and 65 percent of women as either overweight or obese.)

But a new meta-analysis of the relationship between weight and mortality risk, involving nearly three million subjects from more than a dozen countries, illustrates just how exaggerated and unscientific that claim is.

The meta-analysis, published this week in The Journal of the American Medical Association, reviewed data from nearly a hundred large epidemiological studies to determine the correlation between body mass and mortality risk. The results ought to stun anyone who assumes the definition of “normal” or “healthy” weight used by our public health authorities is actually supported by the medical literature.

The study, by Katherine M. Flegal and her associates at the C.D.C. and the National Institutes of Health, found that all adults categorized as overweight and most of those categorized as obese have a lower mortality risk than so-called normal-weight individuals. If the government were to redefine normal weight as one that doesn’t increase the risk of death, then about 130 million of the 165 million American adults currently categorized as overweight and obese would be re-categorized as normal weight instead.


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Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
Reply Our Imaginary Weight Problem (Original post)
Recursion Jan 2013 OP
MannyGoldstein Jan 2013 #1
bunnies Jan 2013 #2
NICO9000 Jan 2013 #3
Odin2005 Jan 2013 #4
Brigid Jan 2013 #5

Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:57 PM

1. This has been found repeatedly

There are some conflicting studies as well, but BMI of 25-35 or so seems to be best.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:58 PM

2. ....


In other words, there is no reason to believe that the trivial variations in mortality risk observed across an enormous weight range actually have anything to do with weight or that intentional weight gain or loss would affect that risk in a predictable way.


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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:13 PM

3. I live near a high school...

...and a lot of these kids are fucking OBESE! When I was a kid in the 60s-70s, we usually had the "fat kid" (singular) in each class. Of course, back then we didn't have the glut of fast food and 900 oz sodas we have now. I did plenty of sitting on my ass as a kid staying in my room reading and listening to music, but I still had time to ride my bike and get some exercise.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 02:43 PM

4. Obesity has been seen as a moral failing since the 1890s.

Before then obesity was a sign that you were wealthy enough to buy a lot of food. That changed in the 1890s as the Upper Class started to idolize amateur athleticism, the modern Olympics started in 1896 and college football became popular during the same time period.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:44 AM

5. I call BS.

Science or no, I have eyes. All I have to do is go out onto the street and look around to see that we have an obesity problem. True, I live in IN, but still . . .

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