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Old 01-04-2013, 09:36 PM   #31
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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...
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:28 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TripSwitch View Post
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.
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:51 PM   #33
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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.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:02 PM   #34
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1509048/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3297740/
http://www.aafp.org/online/etc/media...upVisitAIM.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.

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Old 01-05-2013, 03:21 PM   #35
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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.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:22 PM   #36
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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.

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Old 01-05-2013, 03:26 PM   #37
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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.

Quote:
There are none so blind than those who will not see.
Pretty much!

Best of luck to you as well.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:28 PM   #38
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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.



Quote:
Originally Posted by owlsteazombies View Post
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).


Quote:
Originally Posted by owlsteazombies View Post
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?
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:49 PM   #39
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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...
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:43 AM   #40
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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...
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:47 AM   #41
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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.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:17 AM   #42
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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....icleid=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...
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:13 AM   #43
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Overwight People, Not Just Obese, More Likely to Die Sooner, Study Says

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-1...tudy-says.html

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

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1000367
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:54 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TripSwitch View Post
Overwight People, Not Just Obese, More Likely to Die Sooner, Study Says

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-1...tudy-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.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:12 AM   #45
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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.
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