Weight Loss News and Current Events - Overweight People Live Longer




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AnnRue
01-03-2013, 08:35 PM
More than one study has come back saying something like this. I think there must be something to it. I think what they are saying is being obese or underweight may put you at a greater risk of death. They aren't saying go pig out even though you have diabetes. They aren't saying you should have a BMI of overweight.

What do you think?



Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A new study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association supposedly shows that those who are considered overweight actually have a lower mortality rate than those who are considered to be normal weight.

The study done by Katherine Flegal of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deals mostly in terms of BMI, or Body Mass Index. It claims that people who are considered overweight actually have a six percent lower mortality rate than those who are considered normal weight.

But this data only takes BMI into consideration, which makes some very critical of the findings in this study.

"Body mass index is really not taking into account any of the other factors such as family history, cholesterol, fitness level, anything like that," said Kristina Delviscio, who is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine and works at Riverwalk Athletic Club.

At first glance the NPR headline of Research: A Little Extra Fat May Help You Live Longer might suggest that it's beneficial to rock those love handles.

"People are going to right away see that, 'Oh, slightly overweight, I'm going to be healthier. And that's the message that is coming across," said Delviscio.

Personal trainer Anthony Campo says this is misleading. Extra fat doesn't equal extra health. But don't confuse gaining weight with gaining fat. According to health experts, adding weight in the form of muscle is very beneficial.

"Putting on lean mass improves many things in your body. Your insulin sensitivity, which can lead to things like better triglycerides, better cholesterol," said Campo.

BMI is a formula that takes into consideration only your height and weight, but no other health factors such as smoking or health problems. Personal trainers say it isn't a good way to measure your overall health. Take Campo for example, an athlete in peak physical condition weighing 200 pounds at ten percent body fat.

"With the BMI with me, I'm actually not even considered overweight, I'm considered obese," said Campo.

With the new year comes many resolutions to be more fit. You should contact your doctor before beginning any kind of training to make sure you are healthy enough to partake in strenuous activities.


mandalinn82
01-03-2013, 08:45 PM
The data on this, from multiple studies, has been pretty clear.

Overweight people (people with a BMI in the 25-30 range) are less likely to die than people who are normal weight, underweight, or obese. This study doesn't take into account morbidity/quality of life, but the research on death rates is statistically significant.

Interestingly, no research has really ever been done on whether changing your BMI affects your relative death rate. So while we know that someone with an "overweight" BMI is overall less likely to die than someone with a "Normal" BMI, we don't know whether taking someone with a "Normal" BMI and having them gain weight will change their individual chances of death. The flip side, of course, is that we also don't know if taking someone with an "Overweight" BMI and having them lose weight will change those chances. We don't even know if taking someone who is "Obese" and having them lose weigh results in a lower risk of mortality.

These are just population trends, and can't be used to dictate health goals for an individual.

owlsteazombies
01-03-2013, 11:16 PM
Everyone dies. There is no Go spot to get out of that. I think these studies are just an excuse for people who are already looking for a way not to lose weight, to not lose weight.

There are so many reasons to get healthy over staying overweight/obese..besides, studies? Remember when they said eggs would kill you? How about that pesky milk?


mandalinn82
01-03-2013, 11:24 PM
Obviously, by "Less likely to die", I mean "Less likely to die within a given time period"

owlsteazombies
01-03-2013, 11:30 PM
I know, but people (like I used to do) take these studies and use them as an excuse.

I wonder about BMI..whether they tested people with a high BMI who were overweight because of muscle. Or regular joe who likes to have cheetoes with his starbucks.

mandalinn82
01-03-2013, 11:40 PM
I don't think it's an "excuse" to challenge the idea that the "Normal" BMI range is best for everyone or even most people, if evidence shows consistently that to have the lowest risk of dying in a particular timeframe, one should have an "overweight" BMI. It sort of calls into question why that range would be considered "overweight" to begin with.

This is not an excuse for not dealing with obesity or morbid obesity, both of which show clear impact on death rates. But this evidence does call into question whether there are health advantages from getting from the "overweight" category into the "normal" category, or only aesthetic advantages for people who prefer a leaner look.

There is some possibility that people who are overweight are better monitored by their physicians for blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, etc, which may result in better health outcomes. But then again, I know quite a few people who are overweight and avoid doctors to avoid lectures, so I'm not sure how real a factor that is.

The study measured a representative sample of people with a particular BMI. So you'd expect to have both artificially high BMIs due to muscle, and artificially low BMIs for the naturally skinny folks who never exercise with bad eating habits, and everyone in between.

owlsteazombies
01-03-2013, 11:46 PM
I avoid my dr like the plague.

Interesting study! Thank you for sharing

kaplods
01-03-2013, 11:58 PM
What I would wonder is why, if mortality is lower, are these folks considered "overweight" in the first place.

"Overweight" was originally determined, not by doctors but by insurance adjusters - based on mortality rates.

We don't know what "optimal weight" really is, or even if there is such a thing. These studies really aren't measuring anything but the likelihood to die soon - and it may be possible that overweight folks don't go out and put themselves at risk for accidents... because they've become stay-at-home couch potatoes.

Then again, maybe they're not dying at a reduced rate because they actually ARE healthier than the other weight classes.... in which case calling them "over weight" is rather silly, because it could indicate that they're actually the "right weight."

This is why I'm not looking for a number in my weight loss at all. I'm looking for the point at which my health stops improving or even declines. I'm going to base my health decisions on more important factors than BMI and a number on the scale.

My diet and weight loss is important to me, only in it improving my health and other aspects of quality of life. If all my health indicators were to go down the toilet with weight loss, I would consider stopping the weight loss. That's not been the case, so I'm pretty sure that I'm accurately assessing my weight as a health risk (of course I'm still quite morbidly obese).

I do have friends who are actually "obese" by BMI, but have little or no fat. One is extremely fit and buff (you can clearly see that he has no excess body fat, because of the clear muscle definition). The other is a woman who is extremely fit. She's overweight according to the scale, but because she's so extremely active, there's far more muscle there than fat. Sure she has a little padding in her hips and bust, but most people would guess her to weight about 40 lbs less than she does - she's that solidly packed with muscle (all the hiking, running, and kickboxing she does, no doubt).

BMI isn't a very good measure for such things, because it doesn't distinguish between folks with high-fat and low-muscle/bone ratios and those who have low-body-fat, high muscle/bone weight ratios.

Most folks aren't going to fit into the "over" weight category because of unusually high fitness levels - but there are going to be some.

I think these studies mean almost nothing, until we know what accounts for the differential death rates. I'd rather live a shorter, better life, than a longer, less functional one. However, I'd also choose fat and life over thin and dead.

I'll just keep making my diet and exercise changes, and I'll stop when I don't see any advantage to continuing. At that point, I'll maintain - whether I'm at goal or not. And if later I want to revise my goals, that's ok too.

There's nothing wrong with deciding that the number on the scale isn't the most important number in the world. In fact, I've only had success with weight loss since giving up on the scale as the best measure of success. I'm not doing all this work to look great, I'm doing it to feel better and get my health back.

Because I'm not doing it FOR WEIGHT, I don't get discouraged when the weight loss stalls - because that's not why I'm doing this. I wouldn't use the scale as a measure at all, if it weren't one of the easiest measurements of success (and of course a side benefit of wearing less expensive, cuter clothing is in the mix a little bit - but it's certainly not on my top ten).

misspixie
01-04-2013, 12:06 AM
I know, but people (like I used to do) take these studies and use them as an excuse.

I wonder about BMI..whether they tested people with a high BMI who were overweight because of muscle. Or regular joe who likes to have cheetoes with his starbucks.

See thats something that drives me nuts. Whenever a study like this comes out someone not you but in general someone says something like well BMI is useless look at this picture of a bodybuilder there BMI is like 31 and theyre not obese.
Well, if I go to the mall the number of bodybuilders with high BMIs is pretty low and the number of people with obvious weight issues is pretty high.
I think BMI is a great indicator for doctors to do further tests like waist size and stuff but it drives me nuts whenever BMI is mentioned the case of the 1 in a 100,000 bodybuilder is used to justify why BMI doesnt work. If your a 50 yr old woman and you are 5 ft 2 and weigh 300 lbs it isnt about how much muscle you have.
Ok Im done...:)
As for living longer I think that overweight BMIers will live longer but what isnt discussed is quality of life. I think people should look at quality of life more than death rates personally and thats gotta be the motivating factor. Id rather live to 82 at a regular BMI no health issues than 87 as a diabetic with amputated legs since the age of 55. I also think the reason they live longer is that if you are regular BMI youll be passed over by the doctor as in "well your weight is fine you look fine your good this year". Higher BMI patients get the bloodwork and tests to make sure stuff is ok and thats when issues are found and treated. Also another thing is that when older people fall down they break bones and thats a major reason why they die. Its a fact that if you have more padding your less likely to break something so you wont be at risk of blood clots and infection at an older age.
Lots of factors, and even if its significant with respect to the stats I dont think anyone should try to gain weight to live longer. Its gotta be about quality of life I think.

mandalinn82
01-04-2013, 12:31 AM
Id rather live to 82 at a regular BMI no health issues than 87 as a diabetic with amputated legs since the age of 55.

It's an awfully big jump from "mild overweight" to "diabetic with amputated legs". Type 2 Diabetes is a definite risk of obesity or morbid obesity, but the rates in the population that is overweight aren't significantly higher than in the population with a "normal" BMI. And if you're moderately overweight with diabetes, you're less likely to die from it than if you're "normal" weight.

I'm not saying there aren't aesthetic reasons one might want to go from "overweight" to "normal" on the BMI scale. But there is significant evidence mounting that it doesn't do all that much for mortality.

Lemongrab
01-04-2013, 01:08 AM
Not buying this, just can't. Had an overweight uncle who died from a sudden heart attack in his sleep in his 50's and an overweight aunt who died from diabetes also in her 50's while my grandparents are at a normal weight and are alive in their 80's, not in perfect health but they are old. It seems there's always some odd contradicting research that shows being healthy is actually not healthy. I agree though BMI is just a rough guide that measures mass against height but doesn't measures health so nothing really can guarantee that you'll live longer.

TripSwitch
01-04-2013, 04:32 AM
Let me just say that I don't like to gamble... So what I'll take away from this is that there MIGHT be a possibility that being overweight MIGHT offer me some sort of advantage in MAYBE living SLIGHTLY longer when I'm OLDER or SICK or BOTH... which to me don't seem like odds that I want to play...

Now if someone can be overweight, perfectly healthy and happy... than more power to them... I was not one of them... for me just being "overweight" was having very real effects on my health that certainly would have led to negative consequences... for me, going from just an overweight BMI to a normal BMI made a big difference in all of my numbers and a real difference in reducing my risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke... which we all know are some of the leading causes of shortening one's lifespan, not to mention the effects that they have on a persons quality of life...

So for me and a lot of other overweight people in similar situations with health issues that could be improved by losing weight... you are sort of in a "Dammed if you do, dammed if you don't" position on this one... But for me at least, I know I made the right bet here...

AnnRue
01-04-2013, 05:26 AM
.. for me, going from just an overweight BMI to a normal BMI made a big difference in all of my numbers and a real difference in reducing my risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke... which we all know are some of the leading causes of shortening one's lifespan, not to mention the effects that they have on a persons quality of life...

I know, even with this study I plan on being below overweight. I am currently BMI of 25.7. I want to get down about 15 lbs more. But that is not to say it isn't something to keep in mind. The key is imho not to overreact. It is a piece of information. Obviously it is not good to have a BMI of 30 and have diabetes. But for someone like me who has none of those risk factors -- good blood sugar, good heart numbers etc... it is just one more factor to consider.

As to why it might be true, there are tons of theories. Someone said one I thought made a lot of sense. That the more fat you have on you -- especially as an elder, the less chance of breaking something if you fall. And since hip fracture is a particularly bad thing -- well this works. If that turned out to be a big factor pushing it ... you could see how this might be more valuable only as you got older.

I actually think this will turn out to be important only for those over 60. Lots of diseases have been linked to loss of muscle mass in the elderly so that could line up with lower BMI.

sontaikle
01-04-2013, 06:00 AM
I think a lot of us are lumping "overweight" with "obese" when looking at this article. Remember that medically, overweight is a BMI of 25 to 30 regardless of what our eyes tell us (and our eyes would normally place these "overweight" people at a normal weight).

Let's also not forget that in the US in 1998, the definition of overweight was changed! Before, one was normal weight if they had a BMI of less than 27; moving that down to 25 effectively made millions overweight without them changing anything. The numbers are pretty arbitrary in that respect and can be changed when population information is gathered.

BMI may be a poor measure for some, but when the general population is taken into account it is a quick way to process information. Athletes and the super fit should know that they shouldn't pay attention to it, while a regular person should know that an athlete and/or super fit person is on another level than a regular person. Most people will not put on enough muscle to push them into the overweight or obese category, so throwing out an example of a bodybuilder that falls outside of the BMI ranges is kind of silly.

I guess, as with anything, YMMV. I don't know if staying overweight would be good for me in the long run because diabetes runs on both sides of my family. I'll probably still get it at some point, but I'm hoping maintaining a lower weight will push it off as long as possible.

kaplods
01-04-2013, 07:59 AM
I think a lot of us are lumping "overweight" with "obese" when looking at this article. Remember that medically, overweight is a BMI of 25 to 30 regardless of what our eyes tell us (and our eyes would normally place these "overweight" people at a normal weight).

Let's also not forget that in the US in 1998, the definition of overweight was changed! Before, one was normal weight if they had a BMI of less than 27; moving that down to 25 effectively made millions overweight without them changing anything. The numbers are pretty arbitrary in that respect and can be changed when population information is gathered...


I agree that this and other issues are clouding the issue. The mildly overweight class, by the way, that we're talking about is one in which women still look good in a bikini. Wonder WOman, Xena Warrior princess and Hot Donna on the 70's show. We're not talking about people who LOOK overweight, we're talking about folks who are considered of normal and even attractive appearance.


This topic has come up several times on 3FC before, because the research finding that MILDLY overweight folks live the longest and others that find advantages to being MILDLY overweight is nothing new.

One thing to keep in mind is that the people these studies are finding these advantages in, are people that most folks in the USA would not consider overweight at all.

The studies aren't finding that obesity is healthy, they're finding that having a few (and only a few - not 20, not 30, not 100) extra pounds MAY not be such a terrible thing.

These studies that find SOME health advantages to be MILDLY overweight (and again these are people who look overweight only when compared to runway models).

Most folks in the USA have a skewed view of body weight. We're so used to seeing overweight people that we underestimate where the line between healthy and overweight lies (as defined by BMI by the doctors and researchers).

We consider overweight folks to be at a healthy weight, obese folks to be overweight, morbidly overweight folks to be overweight or barely obese.

For example, at 5'6" (I used to be 5'7")

Overweight would be 155 lbs

Obese would be at 186 lbs

Morbidly obese at 217


In the USA (and there are statistics showing this as well) most folks misjudge these weight classifications significantly, and in most cases UNDERESTIMATE the weight class. So when most of us talk about overweight relatives with diabetes and other weight-related or weight-exacerbated illnesses, we're really talking about severely overewight, obese or even morbidly obese relatives.


These studies are saying that having an extra 5 or 10 lbs probably isn't all that dangerous (especially for women if most of that extra weight is above or below the waist), and that there is little to no advantage in being underweight.

What the studies really are saying is that you may not be able to be too rich, but you CAN be too thin.

I also think that people tend to think in terms of "if a little is good, a whole truckload is better." So if being thin is healthy, being skeletal must be even better.

I mean it's ridiculous to me to say that these statistics encourage people to dismiss weight as a health concern entirely. I mean this research doesn't indicate anything at all like that. It's saying that being 5 lbs overweight (and overweight by the BMI charts, not by perception - these are folks that even naked most of us wouldn't consider really overweight at all) may not be as unhealthy as being more significantly underweight or overweight.

To be honest though, I don't think any of this particular research means anything at all, because we don't know what's behind the statistic. It makes MUCH MORE sense to use more specific health indicators for ourselves. Get a checkup once a year (or more if you have specific health issues) and judge your habits (diet, exercise...) and weight by your test results.

vabs
01-04-2013, 08:39 AM
My biggest problem with that study in particular is that it includes the BMI of people who died of syndromes/diseases that frequently involve wasting (ie cancer). If they had teased that out, it would have been more interesting and useful.

The benefits they proposed for being mildly overweight, iirc, were having extra cushioning for your bones if you fall, and not dying as quickly if you are unable to eat.

misspixie
01-04-2013, 10:44 AM
I'm not saying there aren't aesthetic reasons one might want to go from "overweight" to "normal" on the BMI scale. But there is significant evidence mounting that it doesn't do all that much for mortality.

My point is that maybe it shouldnt be about mortality maybe it should be about health risks and diseases linked with higher than normal BMI which includes diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Like OK you may live longer with a number of significant medical issues because of your extra weight (like diabetes, but I know you dont like that analogy) than someone with a normal weight who doesnt have weight related medical issues. Its quality of life not quantity that was measured here. My dad was overweight not obese for his life and hes now in his 80s and generally immobile from knee and hip issues as a result of his weight he never worked construction or anything like that, has had a double bypass from heart disease when he was 65 and is type 2 diabetic has been for years since the age of 42 as a result his vision is pretty much gone and had a retinal blowout last year and 3 surgeries on one of his eye as a result of the type 2 diabetes and the circulation in his fingers and feet is shot he has to get to a foot clinic twice a month for assessment cause once something infects or goes wrong hes gonna have serious problems. Hes on 7 daily medications and married to his physicians office. My mom is the same age no medications no surgery fit as a fiddle and never has has a weight issue. She may stroke out or something but cant we all. SO...my point is you can make it about mortality sure but Id rather live happily like my mom instead of face the medical scenario that my dad faces which is a direct result of his lifelong weight choices.
In my opinion this study is gonna let everyone rationalize their own weight decisions, like OK this study says its ok to be overweight Ill live longer than you. Isnt the fact that health is at risk if you are overweight more important than one or two years longer lived? And its important to decide HOW you wanna live cause we all really dont know how long were gonna live regardless of your weight.

mandalinn82
01-04-2013, 10:59 AM
My point is that maybe it shouldnt be about mortality maybe it should be about health risks and diseases linked with higher than normal BMI which includes diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Like OK you may live longer with a number of significant medical issues because of your extra weight (like diabetes, but I know you dont like that analogy) than someone with a normal weight who doesnt have weight related medical issues.

There is essentially zero research linking MILD overweight, like this study is talking about, with significant medical issues. At all. Anything that shows an increase with "overweight" is using a classification of "BMI higher than 25 or 27", and includes all BMIs above that, so those studies include both overweight and obese people. If you can find research that shows a health risk for people with a BMI between 25 and 30 (not just for a BMI "above 25"), I'd love to see it, since I spent several hours last night looking.

misspixie
01-04-2013, 11:15 AM
Health risks associated with being overweight is the name of this article not health risks associated with obesity. The writers of the government publication clearly make the difference between being overweight and obese and ask you to figure out what you are and says that BMI isnt the beall endall way to figure out where you are. Every single illness talks about risks STARTING with being overweight which they say is BMI 25-30 and increase with obesity. Risk factors talked about with respect to overweight and to obesity as in they make a difference between the two in a number of the areas like metabolic syndrome:
http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/health_risks.htm
Took me 2 seconds to find this.
Of course were all free to choose to believe what we want to. :)

mandalinn82
01-04-2013, 11:19 AM
That's not a study, that's a government site making recommendations on BMI, without listing any actual sources. I am asking for the evidence they used to reach that recommendation. I've looked at the citations for various recommendations of this type, and the research they use to set the 25 BMI as the magic starting point of "unhealthy" is very, very thin.

nelie
01-04-2013, 11:21 AM
This is the JAMA article, they actually used studies of over 2.7 million people in a handful of countries (mostly US/Canada).
http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1555137

Honestly, I'm not surprised at the results but again, studies like this are just an indicator not proof of individual outcomes. Especially as adults get older, a little extra weight, especially muscle weight, is a good thing.

My grandmother is nearly 90, wears a size 10 and is considered overweight. She lives a fairly active lifestyle including plenty of walking and gardening.

misspixie
01-04-2013, 11:29 AM
mandalinn I would imagine than government publications would use the direct source to draw there conclusions as would the Diabetes foundation and the Heart and Stroke foundation and the Cancer Society and so on. Im sure you can find the original research quoted if you contact the government publication authority directly if you feel they are putting out misinformation without relying on some sort of clinical studies perhaps you need to do that cause clearly there is no evidence and the government must be lying to us for some underlying reason. Someone should take them to task thats for sure.
You might want to read this report and contact the entire board of reviewers too and check the studies they cite because Im sure this was released without any form of scientific foundation:
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/ob_gdlns.pdf
especially the 115 outside reviewers that gave scientifc input on this paper including section 2C called Health Risks of Overweight and Obesity notice they distinguish again between the two not just discussing Obesity. But again im pretty sure theres no scientific foundation for this. Its a long study over 250 pages and they do talk about the different kinds of scientific evidence and the studies used to draw these conclusions like are the studies double blind, are they surveys and so on, but again im sure that since they dont publish every single study just their references theyre making it all up. And btw this took me 2 seconds to find too.
Like I said we are all free to rationalize our own lifestyle choices and I get the feeling that no matter what study is shown youll have an answer for why you dont think its valid which is fair enough its your life and your belief system. Im gonna go another direction and believe based on direct observation in my own family and maybe well be on line in 30 years and can compare health status then cause that is only gonna tell the real story. Cause you may be healthy today but 30 years from now is when youll know the accumulated effect on your body.

mandalinn82
01-04-2013, 11:41 AM
I don't use BMI to direct my own health decisions anyway (because BMI, as a measure, is meant for populations, not individuals), so this study isn't going to change my path one way or another.

I guess I don't see the harm in considering that, if you're otherwise healthy, except for 10 or so extra pounds, those 10 extra pounds may not be a health risk in themselves, and that losing those 10 extra pounds might not make you any more likely to die, as evidence is showing.

kaplods
01-04-2013, 12:50 PM
In my opinion this study is gonna let everyone rationalize their own weight decisions, like OK this study says its ok to be overweight Ill live longer than you. Isnt the fact that health is at risk if you are overweight more important than one or two years longer lived? And its important to decide HOW you wanna live cause we all really dont know how long were gonna live regardless of your weight.


And it can just as easily be argued that studies that link excess weight to health problems let everyone rationalize their own weight decisions - especially those regarding weight loss at all costs.

If fat is linked to all sorts of health nasties, that means that weight loss at ANY cost is justified. Starvation, even drugs that are essentially poison...

I can tell you that I rationalized unhealthy weight loss because of the "fat phobia" our culture has than I ever rationalized "staying fat because I'll live longer."

You can always argue that people can interpret the science in ludicrous ways - and the fact is many people do.

The science doesn't "let people" rationalize - people who do that, are going to do that regardless of the science.

Some are and do rationalize refusing to seek medical care or follow a healthy lifestyle because they "look fine."

But we seem to worry a whole lot more about the few (and mostly fictitious) very fat people who think they're healthy because of this research, and the thin folks who are sedentary and eating junk because they look ok and don't feel too bad. "I can't have diabetes, because I'm thin."

So why aren't we as worried about the thin folks getting sick and dying because they think as long as they look ok, they don't need to take care of their health?

Why aren't we as worried about the very fat and even just-a-little overweight folks who become malnourished and ill because they're always trying to get a little thinner using unhealthy and even dangerous methods to lose "just a couple more pounds" because it's "common knowledge" that even the tiniest bit of fat on your body is horrifically ugly and dangerous.

We tend to assume that overweight people especially are lazier, crazier, and stupider than the rest of the population, and there's been tons of research looking to prove that... and failing to do so.

Rationalizations and poor judgement is neither unique nor more common to overweight folks.

I think it's foolhardy to assume that information "lets people rationalize." Nope, it really doesn't. Knowledge is power, for those who want to use it as such. Reasonable people know that one or two or even a hundred studies only give a very small piece of the puzzle.

Learning this information didn't make me decide being fat was good, or "not that bad," it just added a tiny bit of information that made me realize that health isn't just about weight. I couldn't decide that "thin at any cost" was a benefit to me.

And ironically (or maybe entirely logically) it's one of the pieces of the puzzle that finally allowed me to actually beginning to acheive permanent improvements.

When I assumed that weight loss was the primary health risk to me, I was willing to do insane, unhealth, unsustainable, and ultimately ineffective methods to try to lose the weight. After all only the weight mattered.

Even learning that thin folks were likewise at risk if they lived sedentary, unhealthy lives, put it in a different perspective for me. Learning that weight wasn't the holy grail of health, aldo helped me commit to a healthier lifestyle.

Because when the weight loss slowed or didn't come off... I would feel "doomed" to obesity. However, when I decided that obesity wasn't my ownly health risk, then I could stick with my diet and exercise commitments because I wasn't doing them only to get thinner. When I wasn't rewarded with weight loss, I realized it didn't negate the other reasons for diet and exercise.

I don't think the average person is an idiot. I think most people are smart enough to realize that this is only one tiny bit of information. And that to determine what is and isn't healthy for you is a lot more complicated than a certain number on the scale.

misspixie
01-04-2013, 12:58 PM
See, there's one thing in saying
Theres no evidence.
Then when presented with evidence saying
The evidence isnt the right evidence that I want.
Then when presented with evidence that you cant ignore saying
OK I choose not to believe it.
Like I said, what you believe and choose to do is what you believe to choose and do and thats your right its a free world. Just dont say theres no evidence because there is thats all. You might not like what the evidence says but its there and how you deal with it is your choice no discussion there.
Own it just say you choose not to believe it and thats it thats all but the ok prove it ok I dont like your proof cause it isnt the "right" proof ok so you have proof I choose not to believe it just is weird to me and actually quite aggravating cause it really is just plain ole designed to be arguementative. Its ok to say wow I guess there is evidence but I choose to believe this isnt a factor for me. Weird especially since lots of people read these posts and if there is misinformation out there it should be corrected not stood behind especially if your in a position of authority on the board cause people might give more weight to what you say cause of your position. I'm done promise :)
As to what you say above of course extremes either end arent necessarily healthy. Not many people live to those extremes though and to use the extreme as proof that the whole theory doesnt suit your liking is the same as saying all BMI results are bogus cause I know a bodybuilder with a BMI of 31 who isnt fat therefore my BMI of 42 doesnt mean squat cause it could be muscle in my case.
My point was to say that maybe the focus should be PROJECTED quality of life instead of mortality and that quality of life wasnt examined in this study. How are people who have been overweight for 10, 20, 30, 50 years doing today other than "breathing, thanks, Im alive". This wasnt looked at and that is a fact it wasnt examined in this study and it might be more important than just death rates. Whether or not quality of life is important to a person and if they wanna make choices based on that is completely up to them. We also forget lots of time that right now at my current weight right now I may be completely healthy but let the effects accumulate for 10, 20, 30 years and see what happens. Sometimes consequences take decades to show up like knee and hip issues so feel free to live in the moment but be aware that your body is paying a price that might be cashed in on in the future.

mandalinn82
01-04-2013, 01:13 PM
Research has shown that quality of life is dramatically related to fitness levels and eating habits, but not to overweight.

If you take a sedentary overweight person, and have that person undertake healthy habits such as a healthy diet and regular exercise, that person might arrive at a normal weight, or might not. But that person will have better health outcomes (including diabetes and heart disease risk) than sedentary overweight, obese, or normal BMI individuals.

misspixie
01-04-2013, 01:19 PM
Enjoy. Believe. Well talk in 20 years. :)
And I read this a second time and it seems to me your actually agreeing with me, that mortality isnt the only thing to look at which is what I said, its trying to reduce your risk of disease if you are overweight. You can do this through exercise. That what your saying is you can reduce your risk of disease associated with being overweight cause theres proof of increased disease risk with increased body weight by exercising but at the end of the day there is an increased risk of disease if your overweight. How you choose to deal with it is up to you. The issue of are you healthier if normal weight and inactive vs overweight and active is a separate comparison altogether and thats exactly what I was saying -- a simple measure of mortality may not be a great study, that its the quality of life that should be measured.

kaplods
01-04-2013, 05:19 PM
So are you really saying that a person who is 5 lbs heavier than another has a significantly diminished quality of life, because of those "extra" 5 lbs.

I don't buy it.

There are a lot more than a study or two that has found poor correlations between weight and health (not just mortality rates) when subjects are matched on other lifestyle and environmental factors.

Sleep habits, exercise habits, dietary intake, social relationships, job satisfaction, stress level, socio-economic class ...... these may indeed be more salient than the scale number - but these are complex relationships, and people do have a tendency to want to simplify information, often until it's so oversimplified it becomes entirely meaningless.

It's a whole lot easier to say "fat causes poor health," than to say "poverty, social disapproval, contempt, socially encouraged and reinforced self-hatred, malnourishment from strict dieting, combined with a socially-reinforced low-nutrient diet that is too unvaried and too reliant on processed foods.... in addition to dozens of other factors - cause poor health.

A study in the US found that coffee drinkers were more overweight and less healthy than tea drinkers, and a similar study in Britain found the reverse.

So which is it? Does coffee drinking cause obesity and poor health or does tea drinking cause obesity and poor health - or does this prove that research can't be trusted and doesn't give us any information?

None of the above. In both Britain and the USA, beverage consumption is correlated with social class - but the two have opposite traditions. In Britain coffee drinking is more common in the upper classes and tea drinking the lower classes. In the USA the opposite is true. And in industrialized food-abundant nations, poverty is associated with obesity and poor health.

And if "quality of life" for a person with 5 vanity pounds to lose sucks because they're treated like **** by smug, self-righteous prigs - does that mean that we should encourage the mildly overweight to suck it up and lose the weight, or do we stop accepting that kind of treatment for overweight individuals.

The "mortality" studies aren't the only ones out there, so there are studies that do examine quality of life and other health and lifestyle measures... There are hundreds of studies that have looked for and found no significant differences in health, fitness, longevity, and quality-of-life measures that couldn't be accounted for by social class and social stigma alone.

Mild overweight (and I'm talking about the five to fifteen pounds that the longevity and other studies have examined) isn't correlated with any terrible consequences, except those tied to socio-economic factors.

That's actually good news for most dieters, because it means that you can improve your health, even if you can't seem to get off the last 5 lbs that you'ld like to, and the last thing you need is social pressure convincing you that you're somehow inferior to the person who weighs 5 lbs less than you do.

We're focusing on the results of an unhealthy lifestyle rather than the lifestyle itself. All of my life I was taught to see diet and exercise as a means to an end. If you looked great and were thin, there was no pressing reason for you to eat well and exercise, and if you were fat, there was no pressing reason to eat sensibly and exercise - instead the pressure was to lose the weight as fast as possible, by any means necessary to become one of the "chosen people" the "acceptable people." How you lost the weight didn't matter as long as you did.

And there are still people dieting that way - and even many doctors convinced of it as well - that getting the weight off is more important than nutrition and fitness.

If we focused on nutrition, fitness, stress-management, and appropriate rest/sleep, independent of weight, I suspect that most weight issues would be half-resolved. Weight management is still going to be a challenge for some folks, but we've got to stop the "weight-loss-at-any-cost" culture.

We need to see weight loss as the reward/result of proper diet and exercise, not the goal in and of itself. If only for the very practical reason that it works.

Cognitive psychology research has consistently proven that people have greater and more consistent success when they focus on behaviors rather than on results. But with weight manangement we reverse that. We don't care about the behaviors as long as weight loss/thinness is the result.

Bella donna and lead powder were poisons used for cosmetic purposes in past eras. People today often assume that these men and women didn't know the risks/repurcutions of their actions (and some of them didn't) - but many of them did very well know the risks - they just were willing to take them for "quality of life."

We have to be careful not to make the same mistakes in weight loss. Tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of men and women in the US are willingly and knowingly taking extreme and unnecessary risks with their health, including insane methods of weight loss, for "quality of life" based solely on the culture's beauty aesthetic, and as a culture we say that's ok.

We want to be able to give a person a number and say "this is the exact right number for you," but there is no such thing. Your "right number" is probably a range, and some people are going to have a wider range than others.

We have to stop treating weight as if it were the be-all-and-end-all of physical and emotional health rather see it more realistically as just a single piece of the puzzle. Maybe for some people the most important piece, but still only a piece, and worth nothing at all except in conjunction with all the pieces around it.

misspixie
01-04-2013, 05:30 PM
By the same reasoning are you saying that someone 5 pounds less than the obese marker is at no increased risk of disease because they are still overweight not obese? I dont buy that either.
What I said and will still say is that a better study would be to measure the quality of life at age/weight markers rather than are you dead or not. It really is that simple. I havent made any judgement about morals or what is better or what isnt or whose healthier and who isnt and how you should lose weight or what you should weigh. Thats crap thats been brought in as an aside to make the conversation more inflamatory in my opinion. Ive never said that at all cause its a personal decision with personal consequences and I dont have to live the outcomes of your choices. Ive been clear that what you choose to do is what you choose to do. If you believe with all your heart that you can stroll the mall for 20 minutes once a week and be perfectly healthy at BMI 29.9999 with no diseases until your 102 good for you it really doesnt matter to me and well see where you are in 30 years.
I wonder why there is resistance to the idea of a study to look into this? Why is there resistance to the idea that if you are at increased risk of disease because you are heavy and you dont effect that outcome with diet/exercise you may just might not have a super quality of life when your 85? Maybe Im completely wrong I doubt it but maybe and wouldnt a study actually help to clear that up one way or the other?
It seems to me that what I said which was actually simple as in wouldnt a study measuring quality of life related to weight and heck throw in activity too be more interesting than a simple are you dead or not study?
Id totally welcome that kind of study. Until then I gotta base things on common sense. According to the studys Im gonna reduce my risk of a bunch of diseases if my weight is at a proper BMI and my waist measurement is favorable and my body fat percentage is good. If I can get down there lolol until then I accept Im at a higher risk and will do something about it. If I get to a healthy weight and I go 5 lbs over thats a warning sign to me to get back on track.
Disease processes and long term medication takes a toll on a body. Diseases that seem mild can get worse over years just like the effects of type 2 diabetes even when on pills. Knees and hips degenerate and lots of time extra body weight doesnt help the situation. Being on a pill forever has alot of unwanted sideeffects and sometimes you wont know or experience them for years. It would be interesting to have a study that looks at that instead of simply an alive or dead study. What you wanna believe is up to you cause thats not my point so you can argue/rationalize whatever you want on your own Im not gonna participate in the futility anymore.

mandalinn82
01-04-2013, 05:37 PM
I wonder why there is resistance to the idea of a study to look into this? Why is there resistance to the idea that if you are at increased risk of disease because you are heavy and you dont effect that outcome with diet/exercise you may just might not have a super quality of life when your 85?

There isn't resistance. These studies have been done, and they find that moderate overweight is not associated with ANY negative repercussions for quality of life, except those explained by social class and social stigma, as our previous posts have stated.

The "mortality" studies aren't the only ones out there, so there are studies that do examine quality of life and other health and lifestyle measures... There are hundreds of studies that have looked for and found no significant differences in health, fitness, longevity, and quality-of-life measures that couldn't be accounted for by social class and social stigma alone.

There is essentially zero research linking MILD overweight, like this study is talking about, with significant medical issues. At all. Anything that shows an increase with "overweight" is using a classification of "BMI higher than 25 or 27", and includes all BMIs above that, so those studies include both overweight and obese people. If you can find research that shows a health risk for people with a BMI between 25 and 30 (not just for a BMI "above 25"), I'd love to see it, since I spent several hours last night looking.

By the same token, I wonder why there is such resistance to even considering the idea that research does not back the idea that "overweight" is less healthy than "normal", when there is actually a TON of research to that effect, regarding health, regarding mortality, etc.

TripSwitch
01-04-2013, 08:36 PM
I can only speak for myself here... But my resistance to all of this comes from my own personal experience as someone who has never been obese and only simply overweight within this magic window of just 5 to 15 lbs that seems to be what they're talking about here... And for me just losing the weight that brought me from an overweight bmi into the normal range which was only about a 5% reduction, started to make a real difference in improving my BP, my fasting blood sugers, and lipid profile... And I did not have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, nor was I predibetic... And just for example here, there is evidence that having fasting blood sugars in the higher range of normal increases risk of developing diabetes... which we know increases all sorts of risks...

So the question I would be asking myself is this... If you were just a little bit overweight and all of your "numbers" were "OK" but not OPTIMAL... Would that be good enough for you? For me the answer was no...

owlsteazombies
01-05-2013, 01:28 PM
I can only speak for myself here... But my resistance to all of this comes from my own personal experience as someone who has never been obese and only simply overweight within this magic window of just 5 to 15 lbs that seems to be what they're talking about here... And for me just losing the weight that brought me from an overweight bmi into the normal range which was only about a 5% reduction, started to make a real difference in improving my BP, my fasting blood sugers, and lipid profile... And I did not have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, nor was I predibetic... And just for example here, there is evidence that having fasting blood sugars in the higher range of normal increases risk of developing diabetes... which we know increases all sorts of risks...

So the question I would be asking myself is this... If you were just a little bit overweight and all of your "numbers" were "OK" but not OPTIMAL... Would that be good enough for you? For me the answer was no...

This. I have to question the reason for even bringing this to the public. I mean, would you want your computer to run ok, or optimal? Most people want optimal. Would you want your internet to be ok? Or optimal?

But that being said, I don't think studies can protect you from the pipinquities of life. My cousin was a healthy, normal BMI 25 year old young man that just dropped dead in the middle of the street while he was jogging on a 72 degree day because of a massive heart attack. If that could happen to him, why wouldn't it happen to someone who had 5% more of a BMI? I just don't buy this. It's very interesting and I want to see more studies, but for now..nuh uh.

mandalinn82
01-05-2013, 01:51 PM
This was a metastudy, and aggregated data from MANY individual studies (97, to be exact). The question has been EXTENSIVELY studied, and the results have consistently shown that moderate overweight in and of itself has pretty much zero health risks, and may be mildly protective against death.

I think the problem most people have is parsing out eating and exercise habits from WEIGHT. Most research seems to indicate that, particularly with moderate overweight, those habits are far more important than the number on the scale.

TripSwitch, I'd question whether the change in your health status was due to the weight change, or due to a change in eating and exercise habits. If someone who was previously overweight and had bad eating/exercise habits improves those habits, they may or may not lose weight to a normal range, but they absolutely will improve their health markers/risks. Meanwhile, if someone who is overweight but already has good eating/exercise habits cuts calories and loses weight, there is no evidence that they will improve their health at all.

Most people don't distinguish between weight and healthy habits (or erroneously assume that someone who undertakes healthy habits will arrive at a "normal" BMI by default), which results in errors two ways...first, people incorrectly assume that people with an "overweight" BMI can't possibly have healthy habits, and second, people reading studies like this may assume that because overweight itself isn't associated with an increased risk of mortality, healthy habits aren't important.

misspixie
01-05-2013, 02:02 PM
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1509048/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3297740/
http://www.aafp.org/online/etc/medialib/aafp_org/documents/clinical/pub_health/aim/groupvisits.Par.0001.File.tmp/GroupVisitAIM.pdf
http://gut.bmj.com/content/53/3/413.full
http://www.hqlo.com/content/4/1/43
Theyre out there. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Im sure tho that youll find a reason why each link is either flawed or doesnt apply to your personal POV which is fair enough. I think your rationalizing your choices and not really looking at the big longterm picture personally but thats your choice not the ideal solution for everyone.

mandalinn82
01-05-2013, 02:21 PM
MissPixie, I don't think you're following my point...perhaps I am not expressing it clearly. My argument is that there is NO evidence that overweight, in and of itself, has any negative impact on the health, quality of life, or lifespan of otherwise healthy people who fall into that BMI category. None of those studies has any evidence that OVERWEIGHT in and of itself harms health outcomes for the general population.

The first study drew conclusions about those in the third tertile of their participants in terms of BMI, who had a BMI of over 30 (those people are OBESE, not overweight). If you look at the numbers for those with BMI between 25-30, it actually supports my point - those people (in the second tertile) have no significant quality of life differences.

The second study is about comorbidity after hip replacement. I'd grant you that being lower WEIGHT probably has a significant effect on recovery from a hip injury, as keeping weight off the hip aids in healing. While this may be true, it's has nothing to do with quality of life for otherwise healthy people.

Three isn't a study, it's a guide to conducting a group visit with chronic conditions, so I'm not sure of the relevance.

Four is also very specific to people with liver disease, so not extensible to the general population, although it is interesting. Certainly there are specific medical conditions where losing weight can be beneficial, but that has nothing to do with whether people in general are better off overweight or normal weight.

The fifth study started with participants with a mean BMI of 32.5...again, that's about obesity, not overweight.

As for me, I'm choosing to go with habits that are slightly LESS healthy to get back into a normal body fat range, because I prefer the way my body looks there, so I'm not sure what personal choices you think I'm justifying.

misspixie
01-05-2013, 02:22 PM
Like I said
"Im sure tho that youll find a reason why each link is either flawed or doesnt apply to your personal POV which is fair enough"
There are none so blind than those who will not see.
Best of luck.

mandalinn82
01-05-2013, 02:26 PM
Just as you've found a reason why a large, representative metastudy with over 2 million total participants is flawed and doesn't apply to yours.

There are none so blind than those who will not see.

Pretty much!

Best of luck to you as well.

kaplods
01-05-2013, 02:28 PM
In a nutshell (and the main point of my long-winded post below), health and weight are not synonomous. Even if you're incredibly and very unhealthily obese, you can improve your health without losing weight and you can lose weight without improving your health.

Weight is only one factor of health. It is important, but it's not the only important factor (despite it being generally perceived as the most important).

If your weight is ideal, but your other behaviors are all unhealthy, being of normal weight probably isn't helping you much - and you're probably not as healthy as someone who is doing everything else right but is a few pounds overweight.

We have to stop seeing weight as the most important (and sadly often the only important) factor. You have to do it all, not just manage your weight.



This. I have to question the reason for even bringing this to the public. I mean, would you want your computer to run ok, or optimal? Most people want optimal. Would you want your internet to be ok? Or optimal?

But what if your numbers are optimal? Or what if you lose those 5 lbs and the numbers go the wrong direction for you, would you be willing to regain those 5 lbs, or would you assume that thinner is always optimal, regardless of the numbers?

And to me that's why to bring this study to the public - because it's suggesting that maybe "ideal weight" isn't so ideal for everyone. Maybe for some individuals a little more weight might actually BE OPTIMAL.

No one should assume anything about what is and isn't optimal, because we just don't knw enough yet to say what all the factors are that goes into "optimal".

More research needs to be done (and some of it has been). No single study proves or even suggests anything - it's just one tiny piece of a big puzzle.

Also, the researchers DON'T bring it to the public. They write a journal article, submit it to a professional journal, and if it gets published - journalists (not usually scientists themselves) bring it to the public, often misinterpreting and misrepresenting the actual research and what can be assumed from it.

You can't assume that "it's ok to be a little overweight," from this study. However, you also can't assume that an "ideal weight" is ideal for everyone. This study at best suggests that more information is needed. It doesn't mean that anyone should assume or do anything, it's just one study. At best, it suggests that weight shouldn't be the only measure of health (but duh, we already knew that).


My cousin was a healthy, normal BMI 25 year old young man that just dropped dead in the middle of the street while he was jogging on a 72 degree day because of a massive heart attack. If that could happen to him, why wouldn't it happen to someone who had 5% more of a BMI?

And why wouldn't it happen to someone who has 5% less of a BMI?

And that's why we need more information, because we don't know all of the factors that go into optimal. We've assumed for many years that the ideal weight and height charts mean something - but they weren't developed by doctors, they were developed by insurance actuarials.

All I'm saying is that weight isn't the only piece of the puzzle. It's not even the most important piece.

There's some research for example that shows that for many conditions, weight is a very important piece. If you have arthritis for example, you probably want and need to be thinner than someone who doesn't. Every pound on your frame adds pressure to your joints, so the smaller you are, the less pain you'll have. Good argument for being not only of a healthy weight, but maybe even a little bit under.

I'm not advocating ignoring weight, I'm advocating seeing it as only one piece of the puzzle. I'm saying what you eat, how you exercise and how often, how much sleep you're getting, how much stress you're under, what illnesses run in your family, how much muscle and fat you have, where you carry that fat, how often you get a check-up, what your blood pressure, blood sugar, lipid profile and other blood tests reveal....


But most of us don't even know half of that stuff. Some people never see a doctor and just assume everything is fine because they don't feel sick. That's a dangerous assumption for anyone of any weight.

If weight is all you know about your health status, anything could be going on. How do you even know that you're at optimal health if you're not aware of all the factors that go into optimal health.

The fact is most of us have no idea what even is optimal health. And oddly, for most of us, weight is the only factor we're remotely concerned about, and studies such as this (and others) are indicating that it's not so simple. Weight is not the only important health factor. In fact, there's quite a bit of research that suggests it's not even the most important one.

If you randomly select a morbidly obese person and a person of ideal weight - the morbidly obese person isn't necessarily less healthy than the thin person. You could have chosen the one morbidly obese person who does everything else right - is eating a wide and varied high-veggie diet. Who walks and swims daily. Who gets good sleep and manages stress well...

And you might have unluckily picked a drug-abusing, junk-eating, couch potato who doesn't sleep.


Very few of us are reaching for optimal in any way BUT weight. And you know, if you're only going to look at your weight - and you refuse to look at anything else, then I suppose you probably should make sure that you're not in the overweight category.

And if you are reaching for optimal, you better know what that is, so that if YOUR optimal weight is overweight or underweight according to averages - you should know what those are. So if your blood pressure or any other health indicator declines, you do something about it. If that means gaining or losing weight, then that's what you do.

Optimal for an individual shouldn't be decided by any study that looks at dozens, hundreds, or thousands of people. It should be decided by health indicators.

I think that's what this study actually reinforces - the idea that we don't trust what we ASSUME about various health indicators. We can't assume that we can trust any table to tell us what "optimal" is. We need to find it for ourselves.

Just as some folks may need 6 hours of sleep for optimal health and others may need 9, I think weight likewise is going to vary from individual to individual. The research can give us clues as to the range of optimal (for example this study and many, many others do reinforce our understanding that morbid obesity is unlikely to be optimal for anyone).

I think weight is actually a red herring. Too many people see it as the only important indicator of health, or at least the most important one.

I don't think weight is number one or even number two. Oh, I do believe it's in the top ten, and maybe even in the top five - but it isn't the only factor or even the most important.

I think if we're going to be stressing the importance of BMI and body-fat range, we need to be championing the equally (and perhaps more) important health factors for optimal health.

I suspect from my own experience, and that of the huge amount of research I've studied (going directly to the research journal publications themselves, or at least the abstracts) that stress, sleep, diet, and exercise are more important than weight.

Of course, that's "all things being equal" and they never are. It's much more likely that for some people sleep is going to be number one, for another weight, and for another stress levels.

And for everyone, they can't focus on "just one" because there is no "just one" that will provide adequate (let alone optimal) health.

And that's what I think everyone needs to walk away with, from this article. That weight is only one indicator of health, and it may not even be the most important one. And even if it were the most important one (and it's not) but even if it were, it can't be the only factor a person addresses.

When I stopped seeing weight as the only measure of success and health, I started succeeding not only at weight loss, but at regaining my health. In the first two years of a healthy lifestyle, I managed only to "not gain." I didn't lose an ounce, but the most dramatic of my health improvements occurred doing those two years.

And that's what people need to walk away with. That if you're eating better and exercising more, your health is improving, even if the weight isn't coming off as quickly as you'd like (and even if it's not coming off at all).

Instead, when someone is struggling to lose weight, they often give up if the weight loss isn't rapid or steady. When the weight stalls they think "what's the use?" Well the use is that not just weight is at stake.

Yes, weight loss is important, but the rest is just important. And if you're controlling your weight, but not paying attention to nutrition, cardiovascular health, exercise, stress levels and stress management, sleep and all the rest, you're also not in "optimal" health.

If it really was about optimal health, why is weight the main and only focus?

TripSwitch
01-05-2013, 03:49 PM
Let me say that I do distinguish between weight reduction and changes in people's health habits... And that we do know that just small reductions in people's weight alone can improve metabolic markers which was the case for me...

I've run several marathons (six actually, and I'm currently training for my 7th) and I've completed 2 Ironman triathlons (2.4mi swim, 112mile bike, 26.2mile run) and have had a very healthy diet as well for many years... I became overweight by simply eating more calories than my body could use... I reduced my weight by simple calorie counting with no change in my diet and no changes to my exercise regimen or to my health habits... And as mentioned in my previous post I started to see improvements in my already "OK" numbers (higher side of normal) to more OPTIMAL numbers...

Now if you don't think that offers YOU any added benefits.... well than, that is your decision... But from the research that is coming out, especially when it comes to prediabetes and for that matter even having fasting blood sugars and A1c's on the higher side of normal it looks like this increases risk for developing diabetes and increases cardiovascular risk as well... So I made the decision for myself that these were risks that I wanted reduce which was accomplished by a small weight reduction from a slight overweight bmi to a high side of normal bmi...

I hope the takeaway here for people that might be struggling with their weight and what to believe when it comes to all of this is not whether or not being overweight offers any advantage... It's whether or not it offers YOU any advantage.... And for me that answer was no...

TripSwitch
01-06-2013, 12:43 AM
http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/health_risks.htm

The above link is from the Weight Control Infomation Network which is an Information Service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The link is to a page entitled "Do You Know the Risks of Being Overweight?"
and I realize that it has been mentioned in a previous post but I think it bears repeating as a starting point to help overweight people here who are interested in making informed dicisions when it comes to being overweight and the risks that it may pose to their health...

Misti in Seattle
01-06-2013, 12:47 AM
I tend to think it is likely true... BUT only to the extent that IMO the American ideal weight chart is ridiculous and says people should be beanpoles, which is not necessarily the case. Years ago I lost weight and was so skinny that people were advising me not to lose more... yet by government standards I was overweight. I DO think severely overweight people are damaging their health.

TripSwitch
01-06-2013, 03:17 AM
And here's a link to the JAMA article again in case anyone missed it, so people can read it and decide what they think... and whether or not they're comfortable with being overweight as it pertains to THEIR HEALTH based on it's conclusions...

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1555137

And I know this has been addressed, but I think it bares repeating as well... It's important for people to understand the LIMITATIONS of this study... It only addresses all-cause mortality and NOT MORBIDITY or CAUSE SPECIFIC MORTALITY...

TripSwitch
01-06-2013, 08:13 AM
Overwight People, Not Just Obese, More Likely to Die Sooner, Study Says

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-01/overweight-people-not-just-obese-more-likely-to-die-sooner-study-says.html

The above article references this study from The New England Journal of Medicine

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1000367

nelie
01-06-2013, 08:54 AM
Overwight People, Not Just Obese, More Likely to Die Sooner, Study Says

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-01/overweight-people-not-just-obese-more-likely-to-die-sooner-study-says.html

The above article references this study from The New England Journal of Medicine

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1000367

Actually, if you look at the study data the conclusions are a little off. That study is similar to the original study mentioned in this thread as the picked 19 studies (900,000 people) that showed BMI and mortality.

They show the lowest mortality rate to be between a BMI of 20-24.9 BUT that is only because there seemed to be a low mortality rate of BMI 20 to 22.49. BMI 22.5 to 24.9 had a higher mortality rate than BMI 25 to 29.9. All in all, it seemed the differences weren't that great in the BMI 20-29 range.

sontaikle
01-06-2013, 10:12 AM
I think the problem with any of these studies is that we can't remove all of the variables. Everyone comes into them with their unique genes and family history of illness, disease, etc. Not to mention that each and every person entering likely has different circumstances from which they were conceived, born, and raised—all which can bring up a whole host of issues.

Being slightly overweight may not make a difference for some people in how long they live. For others, it could be detrimental.

I look at my own family history: Diabetes runs on both sides and high blood pressure on one side. It's probably best for me to be lighter, but that may not be the case for someone who doesn't have those conditions run in their family.

I don't think anyone can say for certain how much each and every person should weigh. Maybe in the future we'll have some device that can analyze a person's genes and determine a healthy weight, proper diet, etc. for a unique individual...but for now "health" really seems to be a "Your Mileage May Vary" situation. We can all agree on some commonalities (emphasis on more "real" foods, regular exercise...) but ultimately what is healthy for one person or even the majority may not be for someone else.

kaplods
01-06-2013, 10:46 AM
Again I think the point of all these studies (and the fact that different studies found different results) confirms what I've been saying all along, that BMI is not the only factor in health.

If some studies found higher mortality rates among one group, and another found higher mortality rates in a different group, that still suggests that perhaps there's a lot more to mortality rates than just BMI.

Which again, leads me to the conclusion that weight shouldn't be considered the sole (or even most important) measure of health.

I'm not sure why that's so controversial. Don't we all know that already - that the number on the scale is just one of many factors we need to be considering, and working on.

Don't we already understand that being thin doesn't mean being healthy. A great-looking person who eats crap, smokes, drinks heavily, misuses pharmaceuticals and illegal drugs, and just in general leads an unhealthy lifestyle is probably going to be worse off than a person who has an extremely healthy lifestyle but who is struggling to keep off 10 lbs.

What I find strange is how time after time, the perception of "fatness" is so often seen as somehow worse than all other unhealthy habits combined.

The irony to me, is that if a person works at all the other components of a healthy lifestyle, OFTEN (not always, but often) the weight starts to take care of itself.

All my previous weight loss attempts ultimately failed, and I wonder if it's because I was focusing on the weight, and not on losing it in a healthy matter or on establishing healthy habits.

"This time," when I started the only weight-related goal I had was "not gaining." I truly believed that (after more than 35 years of experience) that I couldn't lose weight and that any attempt to lose wieght only ever resulted in weight gain. I was terrified of trying to lose weight again, because I knew where that inevitably led.

So I didn't try to lose weight. I concentrated my efforts on "not gaining" and making healthy changes I was willing to make forever, at a rate I found comfortable. Eating more variety and less processed foods, moving more, making sure I got decent and sufficient sleep, getting off the medications that were causing negative side effects.....

A miracle happened. I not only got healthier - I eventually started losing weight without "trying" to.

I'm at a point now (after over 100 lbs of weight loss) where I have to do more than just make non-weight-related healthy changes. I have to work at weight loss itself now - but for 100+ lbs, I didn't have to work at weight loss at all. Just making healthy changes resolved the weight. It's frustrating that the weight isn't coming off without having to focus on it. If I thought only weight mattered, I'd want to give up, because I'm having so little success with the weight aspect (other than having mad-success at the not-gaining part). I'm no longer seriously tempted to lose weight by unhealthy means - because for me, I know where that leads. I am still occasionally tempted, because we do live in a society that says that fat people, especially very fat people aren't just unhealthy, they're contemptible.

I know what crash diets do to me (none of it good), but it's taken me 42 years of dieting to learn it. If only I had learned much earlier that weight wasn't the most important thing to my health or to my worth on this planet.

I think that if we focused as much on a healthy lifestyle as we do on weight alone, fewer people would have weight problems and people of ALL weights would be healthier.

Instead, we make body weight the single-most important (and sometimes only) focus of our self-care regimen to our detriment. It isn't that even being mildly overweight can't affect your health - it's all of the other factors that we don't give a second thought because we're so focused on weight that we don't pay attention to all the other components of health.

If you maintain a healthy weight, but do it by way of, or in addition to a host of unhealthy habits, you're not "safe" though our culture would have you believe it.

Most of us arguing for consideration of these studies are not saying "don't worry about a few extra pounds, stay fat - it won't hurt you."

What we're saying is "fat isn't the only part of the puzzle, it's just one piece ... you need to live a healthy lifestyle too - and it might be better to struggle with a few pounds while making a healthy lifestyle a priority than it is to be thin and sit on the couch all day, smoking and eating nothing but Doritos."

GlamourGirl827
01-06-2013, 11:12 AM
Wow, long thread.
I remember several years ago, reading a study or article or something out of one of my nursing magazines, about patients with higher weight (not morbidly obese, just a little over weight) live longer then their thinner counter parts, BECAUSE when you are dealing with end of life issues, people that are in and our of the hospital, rehabs, and long term care, people that have several medical problems, despite weight, the ones that are a bit heavier have more weight to lose before they are basically wasting away.

I know from experience, thinner patients (and I'm talking about the elderly) have a much greater risk for pressure ulcers and skin breakdown. And if they are not eating well, they are at risk for nutritional deficencies and they may have slower healing of wounds. The patients that have a few extra pounds tend to do better, I've seen it first hand.

This isn't defending those that are obese, and we all know there's a point when weight will shorten your life, no doubt. But when they talk about living longer, yes I can see how when it comes to the end and your are 95 years old, if you always had a few extra pounds (but otherwise ate healthy, were active, and took care of your health) you might hang in there a little longer then the person who was always slim, because at 95 we actually are a little more concerned about those that are thinner, because that can quickly become underweight and a problem adding to other problems. (Again I'm not saying people that are obese, just a little extra weight)

Technically that's living longer. It seems the focus of this thread is on our own age group, but think elderly, because thanks to modern medicine, ever those that are slightly unhealthy can make it to old age with the help of meds and operations like cardiac by passes.

On that note, in my 30s, I plan on after baby, getting down to my goal. i was 145 last year and running and loved it! But I definately wouldn't want to be thin at 80. I would not want to be obese, that is not good. I'm talking an extra 10-15 lbs. Because I know as my life starts to come to and end (not even just goes out with a massive MI (heartattack)) that the extra weight can be helpful in helping my life longer. Assuming that's a good thing.

AnnRue
01-06-2013, 12:49 PM
I know from experience, thinner patients (and I'm talking about the elderly) have a much greater risk for pressure ulcers and skin breakdown. And if they are not eating well, they are at risk for nutritional deficencies and they may have slower healing of wounds.

Thanks for the info Glamour girl... So I think that perhaps the reality of this study may be, that, as you get into your 70s it is something you may want to consider. But it may not apply to younger people.

I thought another reason as well... extra weight may make for stronger bones.

mandalinn82
01-06-2013, 01:18 PM
I think we might be able to get group agreement on the following.

1. Truly obese levels of body fat are probably unhealthy for everyone, and may affect quality of life. Typically, but not always, obese levels of body fat are associated with an "Obese" BMI (the exceptions being bodybuilders or other people with large amounts of muscle who read artificially high on the BMI scale due to muscle weight)

2. Truly underweight levels of body fat are probably unhealthy for everyone, and may affect quality of life. Like obesity, underweight body fat levels usually map to an underweight BMI (the exceptions being those people who are extremely small framed).

3. Whether a "Normal" BMI or an "Overweight" BMI is healthier for an individual is hard to determine and varies on a ton of factors, including age, fitness level, other medical conditions, eating habits, body composition, and frame size. Goal weights should probably take this into account, and maybe it might be a good idea to consult your doctor on what might be a good goal for you.

owlsteazombies
01-06-2013, 03:24 PM
I think we might be able to get group agreement on the following.

1. Truly obese levels of body fat are probably unhealthy for everyone, and may affect quality of life. Typically, but not always, obese levels of body fat are associated with an "Obese" BMI (the exceptions being bodybuilders or other people with large amounts of muscle who read artificially high on the BMI scale due to muscle weight)

2. Truly underweight levels of body fat are probably unhealthy for everyone, and may affect quality of life. Like obesity, underweight body fat levels usually map to an underweight BMI (the exceptions being those people who are extremely small framed).

3. Whether a "Normal" BMI or an "Overweight" BMI is healthier for an individual is hard to determine and varies on a ton of factors, including age, fitness level, other medical conditions, eating habits, body composition, and frame size. Goal weights should probably take this into account, and maybe it might be a good idea to consult your doctor on what might be a good goal for you.


Agreed! Btw, cute baby. Almost makes me want one...almost.

Jez
01-06-2013, 03:41 PM
Just cuz.

http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/news-overweight-people-live-longer-yeah-right.html

Jez
01-06-2013, 03:42 PM
P.S. I'd be down with Drunkin Donuts.

mandalinn82
01-06-2013, 04:00 PM
There's a big logical fallacy in that link.

Basically, they're saying that:

Some people with depression and anxiety lose weight, and 20% of people are depressed or have anxiety, so 20% of people are lower weight due to depression.

The fact is, as many people gain weight due to depression/anxiety as lose it. So those numbers probably end up being a wash in the general population. Some does not equal all.

mandalinn82
01-06-2013, 04:01 PM
Here's an OLD 3FC thread on this topic, from another study that reached the same conclusions in 2009:

http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/weight-loss-news-current-events/177547-get-fat-live-longer.html

TripSwitch
01-06-2013, 04:55 PM
Just cuz.

http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/news-overweight-people-live-longer-yeah-right.html

Thanks for the link...

Jez
01-06-2013, 05:17 PM
There's a big logical fallacy in that link.

Basically, they're saying that:

Some people with depression and anxiety lose weight, and 20% of people are depressed or have anxiety, so 20% of people are lower weight due to depression.

The fact is, as many people gain weight due to depression/anxiety as lose it. So those numbers probably end up being a wash in the general population. Some does not equal all. That's all you took from it?

TripSwitch
01-06-2013, 05:19 PM
Again I think that it is important for people to understand the RISKS associated with being overweight...

Here is just one example...

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20299666

And as we all know, there are more...

TripSwitch
01-06-2013, 05:27 PM
Here's an OLD 3FC thread on this topic, from another study that reached the same conclusions in 2009:

http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/weight-loss-news-current-events/177547-get-fat-live-longer.html

I'm sorry but titles of articles such as "Get Fat, Live Longer" are very misleading at best... and possibly and potentially dangerous at worst...

bunnabear
01-06-2013, 05:32 PM
There is also the consideration that carrying excess fat around the middle absolutely has a negative effect on health especially heart disease. This is where I see many overweight and obese individuals carrying the excess weight so the "overweight" contradiction doesn't erase that risk. Also, as the trainer in the article stated, athletes and people who are very fit (meaning they have higher than average lean muscle mass) are in fact very often overweight and often obese using BMI calculations. There is a distinction between being overweight and being overfat in terms of percentage of body fat.

mandalinn82
01-06-2013, 06:28 PM
That's all you took from it?

That was a core of their argument, and it was fallacious.

What proportion of the normal weight group had one or more of these conditions? The study did not say, but the list below suggests that it’s a large proportion of those in the normal weight category...Depression, Anxiety and Alcoholism alone could account for the findings in this study and affect about 20 percent of the population.

kaplods
01-06-2013, 07:37 PM
I'm sorry but titles of articles such as "Get Fat, Live Longer" are very misleading at best... and possibly and potentially dangerous at worst...


I agree completely, but usually it's not the researchers/scientists jumping to these crazy conclusions - it's people who don't know or don't care that no single study proves anything.

Usually it's the journalists for popular soft and even hard news media, who come up with these extreme and crazy headlines (and conclusions), because crazy gets noticed.

I just find it insane that we're so worried that fat people will use this information to falsely conclude that weight management isn't important?

Who are these imaginary fat people who are so stupid that they would ignore thousands of fat=bad messages to believe one or even a hundred messages that aren't quite so dire?

Why do we think fat people are so lazy, crazy, and stupid as to be unable to use their brain. Why wouldn't most fat people on hearing these results realize that research such as this doesn't provide any answers, it only raises questions and possibilities?

I don't know anyone (fat or thin) who would hear about this research and conclude that fat is good for you. I've seen idiots on tv say these things on shows like Dr. Phil, Maury Povich, Dr. Oz, and other entertainment talk shows, but some of these people are being paid (even if only with attention) to say this crap. I don't know anyone in real life who believes that obesity doesn't have risks.

And I don't see anyone in this thread who believe that either. Instead - at worst - I see people saying "it's more complicated than weight alone."

But "Duh" don't we already know that? It's amazing to me that there's even any "controversy" here, because the most extreme thing anyone has said in defense of the research like this study is "weight isn't the only factor that affects health status and longevity."

There are so many anti-fat messages that I find it hard to believe that overweight and obese folks en masse will stop trying to lose weight because of research like this. There's just too much pressure to be thin. And I also don't believe that most overweight folks are overweight for lack of trying.

No doubt my experience clouds my judgement, but I've been trying to lose weight (and failing) since kindergarten, and it had nothing to do with lack of effort or believing that fat was somehow a good (or even not-so-bad) thing.

I personally, see this research as being potentially helpful to both fat and thin people hearing about it, because while it doesn't prove that fat is good, it suggests that fat isn't the whole picture - other factors are at work. And that's a good message for fat and thin people to hear.

Because there are so many anti-fat messages in our culture, I find it hard to believe that anyone would think hearing this "oh good, I can stay fat." It just doesn't ring true for me. But I think it does potentially help the thinner folks from realizing that just "not being fat" doesn't guarantee health.

I think everyone needs to know that health is a lot more complicated than weight management.

I think one of the reasons so few people succeed at weight loss, is because we're encouraged to view weight loss as a pass/fail, all-or-nothing endeavor. We're taught that if we can't reach an ideal weight, there's no point in trying at all.

I think de-emphasizing the importance of the scale number, and focusing on eating a healthy, varied, moderate-calorie diet and becoming more active and physically fit, as well as protecting ourselves with adequate rest and stress management, avoiding harmful behaviors from smoking to excessive tanning.... will result in healthier people of all weights.

Right now, we tend (as a culture) to focus only on the visible. And some of the worst health risks are invisible, but quite literally it becomes out-of-sight-out-of-mind.

And what I find most insane about our weight-obsessed culture are the negative messages fat people (especially fat women) get about participating in non-weight related health habits. It's still socially unacceptable (or at least considered awkward, embarassing, or odd) for fat women to swim or be physically active in public.

What the heck is that about? We get these messages that say we don't deserve to participate in life until we reach a certain number on the scale - and it encourages people to socially isolate and to attempt weight loss by insanely unhealthy (and even dangerous) means so that they can become socially acceptable as quickly as possible.

But what I find strangest is the assumption that thin people can be trusted to use their brains, but fat people can't. We're all so dumb that we'll believe anything that allows us to remain fat (because we know that all fat people just LOOOOOOVE being fat, because it's just so damned terrific).

midwife
01-07-2013, 12:14 AM
As usual, Kaplods puts things so well. I think we will put this thread to bed for awhile.