Friday, January 8, 2016

Fattening up a bit

The standard script we read or listen to in news articles and discussions about obesity is of the health perils of being a rotund fatso – a.k.a. obese.  Intuitively this makes sense but thanks to modern medicine and pharmacology, these health perils may not always translate with a shorter life.

Results published about three years ago of an analysis of the relationship between weight and mortality risk provide some interesting information that challenges our intuitiveness about the relationship between obesity and life expectancy.

The results of this study were that all adults categorized as overweight and most of those categorized as obese had lower mortality risk that what we call normal-weight individuals. 

Skeptics may find comfort in knowing that body mass index (BMI) measurements were used in this analysis to categorize individuals as obese or normal weight. 

So this means a heavily-muscled professional athlete who stands 6 feet tall and tips the scale at 200 lbs. with a very low bodyfat percentage gets classified as overweight.  But an average and non-athletic Joe Blow who is 6 feet tall and tips the scale at 160 lbs. with a body appearance commonly described as skinny fat gets classified as normal weight.

Notwithstanding this BMI limitation, the analysis may cause some middle-aged men who are chasing a long life to improve their odds by fattening up a bit.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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